Tag Archives: Devotionals

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And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” (Mark 5:9 ESV)
I was reading N.T.Wright's Lenten devotional for the other day (read it on the right day 😉
When the demon answered Jesus, "we are legion" - would the average Jewish listener of the day have simply heard "We are many?"
Wright says no, and the more I thought about it, the more I put myself in the listener's sandals.  Consider:  the Roman army was feared for a reason.  At that time, a Roman legion numbered around 5,000 men.  Soldiers.  of.  Rome.
Religious tension - political tension - economic tension.  Polytheists mingled with monotheists...clashing beliefs.  A Jewish pe0ple longing for the Messiah to rescue them from their oppressors.  A foreign government (nothing new) using Jews to collect taxes.  There is a reason that "tax collector" had the same ring as any other scum of the earth.
Imagine of Roman legion sweeping through your town, putting down any rebellion.  Pillaging, raping, burning, destroying.  Even if it had not happened to your peaceful village, you would have heard stories from other towns, areas...even countries.
"we are legion..."
All this and more.

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I am not a fan of Jeanie Miley - and I'm not a fan of "meditation" (Eastern religion style).  But this book has some good points.  It's out of print now, but Amazon still has links to book sellers who have it.

The thrust of the devotionals is that we can reach out for Christ, know Him better, become more like Him - by getting into the Gospels, meditating on the Word, seeing the narratives from different points of view.

From the introduction:

An old tale from the desert fathers related by George Maloney in his book "Why Not Become Totally Fire?" tells of a disciple who went to Abba Joseph and said, "Father, according to my strength I sing a few psalms, I pray and fast a little, I meditate, and as well as I can I cleanse my thoughts  Now what more can I do?"

Abba Joseph stood up, spreading his hands toward heaven.  His fingers were like ten lamps of fire.

"If you want," Abba Joseph said, "why not become totally fire?"

Encountering Jesus through the stories in the Gospels is a way of becoming fire.

The first few devotionals are based on John 1:35-39

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"

They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"

"Come," he replied, "and you will see."

So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.