“YOU’VE GOT MAIL” isn’t something Jesus would have heard very often. If ever.
There was no postal service for normal people.
It was, however, available for abnormal people like politicians.
Romans called their officials-only postal service “the public way.” Even though it wasn’t available to the public.
Emperor Augustus (ruled 27 BC-AD 14) set it up like a Pony Express to carry messages throughout the empire. The couriers were usually soldiers.
Anyone else wanting to send mail had to find someone headed in the right direction.
It could be a traveler on business, willing to do the favor of delivering a letter.
Or it could be someone sent down the trail for no reason other than to deliver the letter.
When church leaders in Jerusalem wanted to tell non-Jewish Christians in another town that they no longer had to observe Jewish traditions such as circumcision, they sent some men who “went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter,” (Acts 15:30).
We have in the Bible the book of Philemon—a short letter about a runaway slave—because Paul had the slave turn himself in by personally delivering the letter to his former master. Paul wrote, “I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you” (Philemon 1:12).
One reason there wasn’t much of a postal service is because most folks couldn’t read.
They hired writers like me to write down dictated words.
That’s how we got one of Paul’s best books in the Bible: “ I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord,” (Romans 16:22).
Folks who got a letter often had to find writers like me to to read it to them.
There’s a thought.
I could write my books. Then I could read them to you. And you could pay me twice.
Actually, many writers are already doing this: audio books.
I’m not sure that would work for the easy-reading Bible reference books I write, though.
But it’s a thought.