“He summoned the crowd with His disciples and said to them,
‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.”’
What would drive a Godfearing man to travel nearly 900 miles with his two sons, taking several weeks before arriving in Jerusalem just in time to celebrate Passover?
Why were you unexpectedly pressed into service by the local authorities, to walk behind The Master, requiring three of Jesus The Nazarene’s disciples to record your noble act in the New Covenant?
How did your single action impact your own family as well as the First Century followers, and others up to the present age?
Brother Simon of Cyrene, what faithful obedience you demonstrated by safely bringing your two sons Alexander and Rufus with you to celebrate the Passover. The record fails to say exactly what became of your sons when Matthew (27:32), Mark (15:21) and Luke (23:26) communicates your plight when the Romans “took hold” of you pressing you into service by carrying the cross of a cursed and condemned man named Jesus.
Somehow John’s record of this same event, states that Jesus from Nazareth initially bore His own cross (John 19:17), but due to the horrific beating and torture that He endured by the hands of evil men and the fear that Jesus would die inside the Temple, you Simon was led to the Nazarene, as you were assigned Jesus’ cross as you carried it while you walked behind The Master to Golgotha to be later, forsaken by His heavenly Father.
Simon, your son Rufus is mentioned in Roman 16:13: “Great Rufus, chosen in the Lord!” Also, your people from Cyrene were among the first believers on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10). In addition, some believers from Cyrene fled Jerusalem following the death of Stephen (Acts 7) thus beginning sharing the Faith in Antioch. In Acts 13:1 mentions one of your “homeboys,” Lucius of Cyrene as one of the teachers of the Christians at Antioch.
Thank you for living out loud, your faith before the world Brother Simon. Your example of obedience is not just historically revolutionary unique, but it is also required by all who follow in the Master’s footprints like yourself.
While none of us have to nor are we required to carry the cross that you bore for Jesus, as disciples of The Master, we all must carry our own cross while following after Christ. Many of us today relate this concept to physical ailments or challenges, or any of a number of unwelcome events that inevitably occur in our lives. However, Jesus tells us in all three synoptic Gospels that carrying the cross is the calling of all authentic followers of Him, for it is the cost of true discipleship.
Thanks for leading by example.
Don’t let your bondage hold you back.
Don’t let your misfortunes,
Your dark secrets, or your mischievous ways
Blind your eyes to the light.
Don’t let arrogance, pride, fear, or greed
Mute your ears to the command of his call –
That’s not follow me when,
Follow me if,
Or follow me but…
It is “follow me”
Without restriction or based upon circumstance.
It doesn’t leave time to pack a suitcase.
It doesn’t leave time to say goodbyes.
It doesn’t promise ease or relaxation.
It isn’t a decision to think about and ponder
That sits disconnected from time.
It is a command in the present,
A call to action, right here, right now.
Throw down your nets far behind you
So that you don’t get caught in their snare
On the way forward.
Leave it all behind you
To gain it all in front of you
And “Follow me”
-Poem Written by Justin Farley
Grace and Peace