Jesus stood atop the mountain, overlooking the vastness of the desert. He sighed, looking down at the ground on which he stood. The man standing next to him fiddled absently with one or two of the machines on his belt. He didn't want to be stranded here, and now would be an awful time for the translator to give out.
"And you're sure?" Jesus said sadly.
"Oh yes," the time traveler said, not without pity. "Trust me, it's all well documented by my time."
"But," Jesus implored him, "this can't be. Not wars. Not hatred. Never have I spoken in favor of such things. At least, if my worship is spread as far as you say, there are no more poor? No more starving people? Surely a faith based on my message..."
The time traveler shook his head. He felt so bad, saying all this. But, this is one of the things he'd always promised himself he'd do with a time machine. "You would think so, but no. Your name is used by rich men to cloak themselves in virtue while they keep the poor impoverished and increase their own wealth a thousandfold."
"But these are the very things I speak out against! Does no one truly hear my message?"
The time traveler rocked back on his heels. It was weird, seeing Jesus this way. As a man. Again, he took pity on the young savior. "Well, not everyone uses your name as a tool for their own ends. There are many who try to live by your example, who truly believe in your path." He shook his head. "But, while they are numerous, they are also without power."
Jesus nodded, and looked out again over the desert. "They would have to be," he mused. He turned back to his visitor. "And, this comes to pass... after I am killed?"
"Crucified, yes," the time traveler admitted. "Your death becomes central to your worship. The cross itself actually becomes your symbol."
Jesus blanched at this. "That horrible Roman torture device? THAT becomes the symbol of my worship?!" He looked up at the sky, arms outstretched. "Father, why?! I have done all that you've asked! Why do you lay this destiny before me?!" He fell to the ground, weeping.
The time traveler knelt down next to him, patting him awkwardly on the shoulder. "Sorry, man," he said. "I just thought you should know." And then he stood, turning away from the anguished messiah and activating his time machine. There were other things he'd promised himself he'd do with this thing, and he wanted to get to them.
He materialized many hundreds of years later, on a small island in the Caribbean at the end of the 15th Century. He hid in some bushes and waited until the last of the smaller boats had made their way back to the three ships. Once they'd gone, he approached who he assumed was the chief of the tribe.
"Excuse me!" he called out, walking toward the stunned natives. "Don't be alarmed! I come in peace!" He stopped well short of the chieftain and his people, holding his hands out in what he hoped was a peaceful gesture. "I don't mean to intrude, but there's something I think you should know about those men you met today..."