“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” – John 14:12 (NLT)
Such a cliche saying, isn’t it? It is a question that we grew up hearing (and probably even saying ourselves), but did it ever actually have any impact? Did this ever make you actually stop and wonder, “Huh, what exactly would Jesus do?”
How about here recently? Have you heard people telling you what Jesus would do recently, rather than asking you what He would do? This whole mess with COVID has brought this out. People saying, “Wear a mask, it’s what Jesus would do!” Or, “Get vaccinated! Jesus would do it, and so should you.” But is this really what Jesus would do?
Now hear me, I am not negating the fact that COVID is very real, and yes it has caused people to die. And this is not to attack anyone’s individual stance or opinion on masks and vaccines. We each have been given (by God) the freewill to choose for ourselves in this situation. But what the purpose of this article IS, is to shed light on the blatant lies that are being spread about what “Jesus would do” in the face of COVID.
So, what exactly would Jesus do?
Well I could give you a long list of scripture references that would point you in the direction of all the times Jesus commanded disease and sickness to flee, but there is one specific encounter that I think sums up this entire situation very nicely.
The man with leprosy
Have you ever noticed how in the Bible, if something is important then you can normally find it multiple times, whether it is in the same chapter or elsewhere? Well in the Gospels we are given not just one, not two, but THREE accounts of the same exact story of this man with leprosy. You can find this story in Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, and Luke 5:12-16.
So what happens?
Well, Jesus is walking along with His disciples. They’re talking, probably cracking a joke or two, maybe talking about the message that Jesus had just spoken to the people on the mountain, and then BAM! Out of nowhere this man appears and begins to cry out to Jesus, saying, “Lord, if You are willing You can heal me and make me clean.” (NLT) Now if you’ve seen the episode of the Chosen where they retell this story, this is the part where the disciples start yelling at the man and telling him to get away. Why? Well, in Leviticus 13:45, God gives Moses the law that anyone who has a serious skin disease must 1) live outside of the camp in isolation, and 2) they must yell, “Unclean! Unclean!” anytime they come near a clean (healthy) person. Jesus taught that the entirety of the Law could be summed up in these two things: Love God, and love your neighbor. So, wouldn’t if have been showing love to God to obey what He gave to Moses, and showing love to your neighbor by shunning the sick man?
What did Jesus do?
This would probably be the part where people in the world today would expect Jesus to look at the man and say, “Sorry buddy, but the Law says you can’t be here, so I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.” If you’ve read or heard the story, you already know that this isn’t even close to what Jesus did.
So what happens next? Well, Jesus looks at the man and two things happen in this instant. 1) Jesus sees the faith of this man. And 2) Jesus has compassion on him. Typical Jesus, right? The unexpected part that probably had the crowd (and for sure His disciples) freaking out? Jesus touched the unclean man with the skin disease that everyone was told to fear! (If I could insert the emoji with the hands on the side of the face, I would put it right here). Spoiler alert, the man was COMPLETELY healed, and Jesus was TOTALLY unaffected by the disease (He wasn’t even swayed by it).
Ok now stop for a sec. We started with a question, which we now have an answer for. Then we recognized the statements being thrown out there of “Jesus would get the vaccine” or “Jesus would wear a mask” to which I respond with a new question: Would He?
Jesus touched a man who carried a disease that had no cure. A disease that was way more dangerous than COVID. And He didn’t even hesitate to touch the man. So would He wear a mask? Would He tell you that you have no choice but to get a vaccine for a disease that you have authority and power over as a believer? Did Jesus not say that we would not only do the same things, but greater than He did? And if we truly believe this, shouldn’t we also believe the words of the Psalmist who says, “For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease?” (Psalm 91:3 NLT). This is the same book from which Jesus quoted the words of many times (to the face of Satan himself in fact).
This is the point where some people would say, “Well, Jesus was God. We are human, so there’s a difference.” Yes, Jesus is God, but He was fully human on earth. He was flesh in every aspect of the word. And just like you and I, He had to deal with everything that comes with being human. But He, just like us who are followers of Jesus Christ, had the Holy Spirit abiding within Him, guiding Him and empowering Him to perform miraculous signs and protecting Him from diseases like leprosy (and COVID).
So what would Jesus do? He would tell us to love our neighbor by spreading the hope that is found in the good news of the Gospel. He would tell us to inspire hope and faith and trust in God, not in a piece of cloth that causes more harm than good when you look at the longterm effects. He would tell us to lay our hands on the sick and heal them.
Have you ever thought about what it actually communicates to the world when we (the believers) sing songs like “No Longer Slaves” (with lyrics that literally say, “I’m no longer a slave to fear”), but our actions show nothing but fear? And we wonder why so many people don’t want anything to do with this thing called Christianity anymore?
Again, this is not an attack on anyone’s personal stance regarding masks or the vaccine. But I think it should cause each and everyone of us who profess to be followers of Christ to take a step back and actually examine ourselves to see who and what our hope and faith is in. Or if we even have hope and faith, instead of a spirit of fear.
Now we know what Jesus would actually do in this moment in time. The question now remains, what will you do? Will you live in and spread fear, or will live in and spread the hope and faith that we as believers have in Jesus Christ?
Just like everything else in life, the choice is yours.