Daily Devotion – January 31, 2018

Mark 1:23-28

Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, throwing him into convulsions and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, ‘What is this? A new teaching-with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.


Reflection by Ellen Green

When I read the words of the unclean spirit that called out to Jesus, I hear taunting in its voice. The spirit calls him “Holy One,” meaning one who is pure and set apart. A holy person would be expected to keep his distance from anything unclean. The spirit seems to be telling Jesus, “You can’t help this man, because you won’t have anything to do with me.” But Jesus did choose to engage with this spirit. What mattered more than Jesus’ purity was the suffering of the man in front of him.

“Purity” isn’t a word that carries much weight in my life. But respectability? I’ll admit that I like the comfort of respectability. Unfortunately, the radical way of Jesus seems at odds with that. Respectability requires me to keep my distance from what is distasteful and frightening in our society. Jesus did the opposite-by refusing to look away and by speaking directly to the evils that plagued the world.



Divine One, give me courage to call out evil and speak words of healing today. Amen.

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