These are tough questions to answer, especially for a former pastor turned freethinker like myself. There are just so many variables to consider like these:
- Was Jesus anti-science?
- Would Jesus have rebelled against the advice or mandates of the “health officials” of his day to wear a mask or get a vaccine?
- Or would Jesus have done what any thoughtful citizen might have done to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to set a good example?
“What would Jesus do?”
As many of us know, the fundamental question “What would Jesus do?” is often used as a guide by many believers to help them decide what to do when tough decisions need to be made. And it seems to me that these three questions are among the most important that believers must wrestle with in choosing whether to wear a mask and get a vaccine themselves.
Yet, how believers answer these questions and act upon them is crucial for the rest of us. Because given that there are roughly 2.382 billion Christians in the world, what they decide to do—or not to do—has far reaching implications for humanity.
Making water into vaccines
As the miracle is told . . . Jesus once turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana. He also made a few fish and loaves of bread multiply in a way that fed thousands. He’s also rumored to have healed many individuals of various illnesses. Yet, nowhere in the Bible is it said that Jesus either healed himself or humanity in mass.
Presumably, (if COVID-19 was raging during his days on earth) Jesus could have turned the waters of the Jordan river into a potent vaccine, or healed any victim of this virus, or just simply eradicated the virus altogether with a simple command. I’m not being facetious. There were limitations to the miracles Jesus could or would do back then, and since he is long gone there are limitations as to what believers can expect the power of God to accomplish now.
Most believers intuitively know that without the power of science today any number of viruses and diseases could have wiped out humanity a long time ago. These believers have been able to successfully integrate their faith with the practical application of science into their lives. Yet, there are many believers who think God is still orchestrating every event and facet of life on earth, and they are willing to let all hell break lose by rebelling against any intervention from man to curb the spread of death caused by the latest coronavirus.
Meaning, they view rebellion as a test of loyalty to their faith, and they have turned the actions of not wearing masks and not getting vaccinations as symbols of their rebellion. Of Course, Christians have the right to be callous with their own mortality, but not the right to endanger the lives of millions of people just to prove their allegiance to a mythical, supernatural being.
You see, to the non-believers of the world these reckless actions don’t prove the level of one’s spirituality. To the contrary, these actions reflect of level of narcistic self-interest and contempt for humanity.
Which brings us back full circle to the question of whether Jesus would wear a mask and take a shot in the arm for the team. And if I use my definition of what it means to be spiritual, I believe Jesus would wear a mask today and he would also get the vaccine.
Jesus put it like this in Matthew 7:12
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Secular folks like me know this as the golden rule. To explain this rule in the proper context . . .
My mother taught me when I was just a kid to cover my mouth when I coughed. Even at that tender age I understood I could prevent someone else from getting sick if I didn’t—spit in their face so to speak. So, when health officials recommend that people wear masks to prevent people others from dying that’s advice even a child can understand.
Besides, what’s the more spiritually minded action a person can do? Refuse to wear a mask because it’s an inconvenience, an infringement of one’s civil rights, or to prove one’s faith in a God? Or to wear a mask and potentially save hundreds of lives?
As far as getting a vaccine goes . . . first the obvious: It’s true, there are individuals who because of their age or heath conditions should not get a vaccine. For the rest of us, thought, the benefits far out weigh the side-effects. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s quite miraculous that we live in an age when advancements in science permit us to create vaccines that save millions of lives.
And while there is a little more inconvenience to getting a vaccine than wearing a mask, the same spiritually minded logic applies. Getting a vaccine to save yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbor is just the right thing to do.