Jesus lived during the time of leprosy, which had no cure. He healed leprosy, yet he didn’t tell people to ignore its risks. What he told people not to worry about was God providing for their needs. Let’s be concerned about viruses and trust God for our needs…
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
There are some anxious people out there. I might be one of them at times. And in the midst of rapid spread of COVID-19 where I am, there is good reason to be concerned. So I thought it would be good to go back to this essential teaching of Jesus to help us put the right frame on current events.
There is a common Christian response these days that God is sovereign. Yes he is. Some of the memes and posts I have see, though, appear to minimize the gravity of our situation because… God is sovereign.
The context of Jesus teaching people not to worry was a time in which leprosy was alive and well and not treatable. Notice that Jesus doesn’t say here that people shouldn’t worry about leprosy? He didn’t say, “Ignore the risks and go rub shoulders with all your leprous friends…”
Be vigilant about not spreading viruses for which there are no cures. Especially ones which kill.
Still… don’t worry. Don’t worry? Don’t worry. Don’t worry that you will run out of food or drink or clothing. Your needs will be met by the God who loves you more than the birds and the flowers. He knows what you need.
So don’t worry about your needs. Seek God and he will provide for you. As some people move to hoard or over-buy food and supplies, the followers of Jesus can be the hands and feet of the Lord in sharing and loving others.
Be concerned about spreading and getting COVID-19. Don’t be concerned about having basic supplies. God is there for you.
I know some crazy person might say, “God can provide for me to not get the virus even if I ignore social distancing.” Quoting Jesus in Luke 4:12, ‘Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”’