What does the Bible say about Social Distancing?

We all know a little bit about COVID-19, many of us have tracked information from the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, CNN, FOX, Local News, Social Media, that random guy at the grocery story, etc. We all want to know what’s going on and we all want to know when life can get back to normal.

I’m not a scientist or a doctor, so I won’t try to tell you what’s right or wrong, I just want to wrestle with a question that we as Christians are faced with:

How should Christians react to COVID-19?

There are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Bible, but the Bible does talk about what was then a very common and eventually deadly disease known as Leprosy.

During the Old and New Testament time period leprosy was thought to be very contagious (it is mildly contagious), in fact lepers were social distancing before it was socially acceptable. There were laws against being near and touching people with leprosy.

However, in Mark 1, Jesus ignored Jewish law and touched a leper.

40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.

Mark 1:40-42

The reaction this leper was use to was ridicule, scorn, and hatred. But Jesus reacted in the opposite way.

Jesus showed compassion and love when the world was harsh and hateful. Jesus touched the leper when the world shooed him away.

Jesus did the opposite of what the law and the rest of the world wanted Him to do.

The love of Jesus was good news to this contagious leper.

So how should we react to COVID-19? With Jesus.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take precautions so we don’t spread the disease, but I am saying that as Jesus followers we should use our health for the benefit of others. We can share Jesus with our neighbors when we ask them if they need anything from the store. We can organize a prayer walk around our neighborhoods for anyone who wants to join. We can call, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc. to tell people that they are not alone.

With Jesus we can do something powerful.

We didn’t need COVID-19 to isolate ourselves from others. We’ve gotten pretty good at creating emotional barriers between ourselves and everybody else. But COVID-19 is giving us a unique opportunity to learn and understand what it means to live a Jesus-centered life in the midst of social and emotional distancing.

Now is a good time to get back to our first Love.

One thought on “What does the Bible say about Social Distancing?

  1. Thanks, Seth! Great article!! I have been trying to go against my natural tendency to socially distance myself. (Like you said, many of us were like that before this virus!) But I have to be intentional about it, or I will very comfortably stay in my now socially acceptable little bubble.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! God bless you and the fam.


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