A friend asked a very timely question online:
Would Yeshua and the disciples have worn masks issued by the Roman authorities? Would Yeshua have worn a mask also while He was healing the sick and raising the dead? Would the disciples have worn masks while preaching the good news of the Kingdom?
Does the Bible speak to mask-wearing? Many gave their opinions in online comments.
Several said that God has given us authority, so we do not have to obey other authorities. One said this:
Peter and the other apostles answered, ‘We must obey God, not men’ (Acts 5:29).
But friends, this is not a valid answer, because Peter was being told to disobey God. Being asked to wear a mask to protect others is not even close to being flogged for sharing your faith.
Another comment said it was the slippery slope to the mark of beast. By this standard, being told to wear a shirt and shoes in a restaurant could also be a slippery slope to the antichrist.
Another said, “No. It hasn’t sat right with my spirit from the get go. Neither has ‘social distancing.’” Yet in Israel (and elsewhere), research has shown that social distancing slowed down the virus dramatically. This fact may not sit well with our spirit, but it’s just common sense: You are less likely catch an infectious disease if you are not around it.
Yeshua taught us to obey earthly authorities in matters where they have authority. Public safety is not a matter for the Church but the state. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). Listen to me, believer—God has established that authority. Your response in such matters is to obey. Anything else, is rebellion to God.
Yeshua paid taxes to an extremely corrupt Roman system that oppressed multitudes, and He told us to do the same. Yeshua the revolutionary, God in man, a fearless person, could have easily built a case to not pay the evil Romans, but He did not.
Some have posted about all authority being given to us, but we must look at the whole Bible. If I take that verse out of context, I don’t have to pay taxes and can drive on the wrong side of the road! “Who are they to tell me how to drive, I have ALL authority.” The “all authority” passage of Matthew 28 in context, is about reaching the world with the message of the Gospel. It is as if Yeshua is saying, don’t fret over things like paying taxes and wearing masks. They are minor in comparison to the mandate I am giving you, which is to spread my message to the ends of the earth. And He even taught His disciples to literally go the extra mile for these evil people, as a witness (Matthew 5:40-42).
Believers are fighting over their rights, and Yeshua is saying, just do whatever they ask. I would to God that we were as vocal over trying to rescue people from hell as we are over exposing the great mask conspiracy.
Of course, there are times to disobey. Look at Daniel who prayed despite the threat of death. Or his three friends who chose death over idol worship. Or Peter explaining to the authorities why he kept on preaching the gospel “We must obey God, not men” (Acts 5:29).
Let’s not be distracted by that which is not eternal! We have to get back to the task at hand, the sacred commission of sharing His message.