The Dignity of the Isolated: Reading John 5:1-15 from a Ghanaian Perspective

  • Alex-Greats Worlanyo University of Ghana
  • Nicoletta Gatti University of Ghana
Keywords: COVID-19, Dignity, Ghana, Isolation centres, John 5:1-18, Stigmatization


The arrival of COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana led to the establishment of isolation centres. Due to the contagious nature of the disease, the inmates are not only ‘isolated,’ but often ‘rejected’ by their families and communities, even faith communities. Against this backdrop, a question arises: if Jesus were living in Ghana, what would have been His attitude towards Covid-19 patients? John 5:1-18 narrates Jesus 'visit to an ‘isolation centre,’ to encounter a person abandoned to himself for thirty-eight years. With His presence, Jesus accompanies him on a journey of freedom from sickness, stigma and solitude. Following the Communicative approach to African Biblical Hermeneutics, the article is organized into three steps: a narrative analysis of the text; the exegesis of the reality and finally the dialogue between the text and context. From the engagement of the two contexts, a call to action will be drawn for Ghanaian communities facing the COVID-19 pandemic.