For a world so indifferent to Jesus’ call to repentance of sin there sure are a lot of opinions about what Jesus would tell Christians to do in response to that pandemic from Wuhan.
But how many of those opinions are in line with the Jesus we actually met in the gospels?
What others have claimed Jesus would say about COVID
The Pope has gone all-in on the vaccine issue insisting that it is an ‘act of love’ for people to get the jab. It would logically follow that ‘not’ getting the jab would be viewed as an act of … whatever you might want to place in the opposite end of that moral spectrum. For someone with zero medical background of his own, that’s an awfully broad brush he’s painting with.
The Archbishop of Canterbury weighed in too. He said the Unvaxxed are Immoral, and he couched that in Christ’s imperative that we should ‘love one another’. This is the same archbishop who had to apologize to Jews for invoking Holocaust language in his overheated affirmation of the religious tenets of Gaia-Worship.
Even secular politicians are getting in on the ‘God told you to’ bandwagon.
We haven’t already forgotten when NY Gov Hochul appointed herself as the Voice of God on Earth, and sent out Apostles to deliver her ‘gospel’, have we? NY Gov Hochul Spits Pure Heresy In Her Religious Ravings About Vaccines (WATCH)
All of you, yes, I know you’re vaccinated. You’re the smart ones. But you know there’s people out there who aren’t listening to God, and what God wants. You KNOW this. You know who they are.
I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say we owe this to each other, we love each other. Jesus taught us to love one another, and how do you show that love but to care enough about each other to say please get vaccinated?
That heresy was dropped in a CHURCH, no less. Where are those ‘separation of church and state’ zealots when they can actually do some good? Or frankly, even an honest pastor willing to defend his flock from an obvious heretic?
We know what words these people have put in Jesus’ mouth. But what would he have said if He were addressing this topic directly?
There is no text where Jesus specifically addressed our COVID protocols, so unlike the leaders who so boldly assume they can speak God’s own words for him, we’ll take a different approach.
What clues can we gather from other issues Jesus addressed to clarify the issue we see today. This is, after all, the same method we apply to other moral questions that are not specifically addressed by scripture.
Jesus is not afraid to break with the popular consensus or ‘the experts’.
‘Experts’ often get the big questions wrong. Especially when they are questions of morality. Why should our generation be any different?
Jesus routinely turned the official teaching of religious scholars on its head. That ‘scholarly wisdom’ was, in fact, serious moral error Jesus needed to correct. ‘You have heard it said’ was a signal through the gospels that He was about to flip his audience’s moral understanding of the world completely upside down.
His refusal to subscribe to their rigid and arbitrary understanding of the Sabbath enraged the Jewish leaders of his day and was one of the reasons they wanted to see him taken out of the picture.
In other words, the ‘consensus of experts’ would have little or nothing to say about his position on this or any other given issue. Crowds are fickle and often wrong.
Jesus doesn’t prioritize a life of comfort and ease.
If we are going to be really honest about what has been driving this pandemic response, it is fear of illness and death. Fear of getting it ourselves, and fear of someone else getting it.
All of the precautions we are taking, the mask-wearing, the social distancing, the vaccine passports — all of the hoopla in our pandemic response — is driven by the desire to completely re-order our lives to prevent catching an airborne virus.
In short, it stems from an effort to make life better, specifically, life in the here-and-now.
But Jesus never promised us a life that was free of trouble, did he? He said exactly the opposite when he said ‘in this life you WILL have trouble’.
Jesus did NOT prioritize THIS life over eternal life
When one of his would-be followers asked if he could ‘bury his father’, [which is end-of-life care] before following him, Jesus told him to ‘let the dead bury the dead’.
He also told a parable about a rich man tearing down his barns to build bigger barns, to the neglect of the wellbeing of his soul, and the man was rebuked by God himself saying ‘you fool, this night your soul will be required of you, then whose will those things be which you have provided’?
And earlier in the same chapter of Luke Jesus gave the most powerful example of this principle.
“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. —Luke 12
What can we conclude from these observations?
We can conclude that Jesus would not preach a message in which we prioritized our natural life and well-being over and above the Kingdom of God and our eternal souls.
He would not call us to a life of fearful compliance to the whims of the crowd, but to a bold obedience to the living God.
The son of God who viewed natural death as but a ‘slumber’ would not encourage us to tremble at the loss of this life.
He would, instead, encourage us to continue in the faith, gather in prayer and worship, and urgently share the good news of the gospel with a lost and dying world.
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