PICK UP YOUR CROSS

MUSINGS – December 11, 2018

PICK UP YOUR CROSS

https://musingsdevotions.wordpress.com/

Mark 15:21
A man named Simon from the city of Cyrene was coming into Jerusalem from his home in the country. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus. As he was about to pass by, the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

Who was this man, Simon, whose name and those of his sons is included in this narrative? The Bible sheds no further light than that which is given here. However since the names of the sons are given, it can be sent y assumed that they were known by the original readers.

I did a Google search and found this information.

Cyrene was located in northern Africa in eastern Libya. A Greek city in the province of Cyrenaica, it had a Jewish community where 100,000 Judean Jews had been forced to settle during the reign of Ptolemy Soter (323–285 BC) and was an early center of Christianity.

The Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue in Jerusalem, where many went for annual feasts. Some interpret the passage as indicating that Simon was chosen because he may have shown sympathy with Jesus. Others point out that the text itself says nothing, that he had no choice, and that there is no basis to consider the carrying of the cross an act of sympathetic generosity.

Mark 15:21 identifies Simon as “the father of Alexander and Rufus”. Tradition states that they became missionaries; the inclusion of their names may suggest that they were of some standing in the Early Christian community at Rome. It has also been suggested that the Rufus (in Greek: Ῥοῦφον or Rhouphon) mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:13 is the son of Simon of Cyrene. Some also link Simon himself with the “men of Cyrene” who preached the Gospel to the Greeks in Acts 11:20.

Whoever he may have been, Simon certainly did not know when his day began that he would be called upon to carry a cross. Likewise, we never know when a figurative cross may be ours to carry. Troubles seldom come upon us with prior warning. We must always be prepared to pick up our cross and follow Jesus.

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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