Discussed here. Curtis Chang, co-founder of the project Christians and the Vaccine chats about the use of the parable: God sends masks, distancing, and a vaccine. What more could a person want?
It’s actually a miracle of institutional cooperation and collaboration. And this is where the Christian blind spot comes in, thinking God only works through individuals or a church. (Christians have not been taught to think of God working through secular institutions.) We’re seeing the ramifications.
The variations of the joke I’ve heard most often are secular authorities like fire/rescue, police, and the Coast Guard coming with boats and helicopters. Evangelical pastors may be awash in nice cars and homes, but they don’t usually splurge on rescue vehicles.
People looking deeply into the Bible might be surprised. Genesis creation stories? Pagan origin. The call of various humble people, unexpected people to be lawgivers, kings, and prophets. Jesus suggested there were going to be a lot of surprised believers at the end of things. It’s the tax collector and prostitute moment for over-confident Christians.
The joke, I think, is more for vaxxed believers than a means of persuasion. The modern folk parable illustrates the surprise of the trusting but dead guy. Nobody wants to admit their own lack of discernment, especially when they are laughed into it. My sense is that serious illness and alas, death, are the only factors convincing people these days. I don’t even try.
Meanwhile, I’m keeping my mask on, and I’m staying away from crowds. Mostly so I can function in groups of people and interact with them for their own safety.