A new virus was spreading the world over. People were in panic as to what might happen. One man was not trusting of the media - mainstream or social. He really only trusted his world-renowned physician and decided to get the expert advice.
He had known this physician for decades. The physician didn’t just know this man’s health; he knew his family, his politics, his religion (or the lack thereof). He could often know what the patient was thinking before he even finished a sentence.
The patient said, “Great Physician, what should I do to protect myself against this new cold virus that’s sweeping across the world and preserve my life?” They physician responded, “Why do you call me ‘great physician’? I’ve told you before that there is only one Great Physician. You know the commandments to hygiene and preparedness. Wash your hands regularly for no less than 30 seconds using soap. Use Lysol often and liberally. Keep hand sanitizer with you at all times… and use it. Do not be around others who are sick. Self-quarantine for the appropriate time if there is an outbreak in your area. Keep enough food and supplies stocked to quarantine for up to 3 months if necessary.” The patient responded, “Physician, yes, I know and have been doing all of these things.” They Physician, having a love for this man and a care for his soul responded gently, “One thing you lack: Stop worrying about the virus and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. Repent of the sin in your life and be baptized into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and serve Him faithfully. Right now, there’s a 1% chance you will catch this virus and die from it. There is a 100% chance that you will die someday, and someway, and stand before the Lord in judgement.”
This parable is taken from Jesus real life encounter with the “Rich Young Ruler” (Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 18:18-30; Mark 10:17-31). In that encounter Jesus is teaching to change the man’s perspective. To help him to see what he had been overlooking because he didn’t have the right perspective. To get him to see that the spiritual was more important than the carnal. To help prepare the man’s soul for eternity.
This parable seeks to do the same thing. We live in very uncertain times with the Coronavirus spreading the world over. People are concerned that they will get this new virus and what will happen if they do. Stock markets have been plunging. Supermarkets have been raided. Social media has been exploding. People want to be prepared. They are asking what they need to do to be ready. Here are some teachings of Jesus that can help put matters in the right perspective and prepare our soul.
First: “For what will a man be profited if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his own soul.” (Matthew 16:26) It’s good to be wise, to be prepared (Proverbs 6:6), but we need to put first things first. That’s true wisdom - to first be spiritually prepared. “Do not be anxious… but seek first His kingdom and righteousness…” (Matthew 6:31-33). Do not prepare yourself physically to the neglect of yourself spiritually.
Faith: “...do not be anxious for your life… Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26) Put your faith in God’s faithfulness. Obey the gospel and be faithful to the Lord, so that no matter what happens, you can eternally experience the love, and grace, and peace and comfort of the Lord. (Rev. 2:10)
Fear: Jesus said “Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. “ (Matthew 10:28) “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense ever man according to His deeds.” (Matt. 16:27) We need to be mindful that we are spiritual beings that will stand before God in judgement. What if the virus did get us? What if you made all the carnal preparations but still got the virus and died? Would your soul ready to meet the Lord? There is a 100% chance you will die someday in someway. Have you prepared your soul for that?