In Mark 15:21 we read:

And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

It is interesting that the two boys are mentioned as if they were known to the readers. Simon, their father, was a “passer by” when the Romans compelled him to carry the cross of Jesus. He was from the modern country of Libya.

Could he and his family been in Jerusalem because they had heard of Jesus and were seeking to learn about Him? Or, was this encounter with the Lord what set this family on a quest to know the Lord and become known to the early church?

Mark mentions this family as if they were friends of the readers. A Rufus is also mentioned in Romans 16:13. This might have been the same man. Paul, many years after the cruxifiction, sends his greetings to Rufus.

Simon seems to be a common name in the Bible. Rufus is only mentioned twice. There are various Alexanders mentioned in the Bible. But it doesn’t seem that any of them would be the Alexander mentioned in Mark 15.

Whoever they were to the early church in Rome or Jerusalem, they seemed to be well known at the time.

Have you been in churches and seen people over and over, but never really known who they were? Not everyone has a public ministry, but each should be involved enough that other people know them. As I prepare to leave a church I have been in for a year and a half, I am surprised by the handful of people who I have seen at church on a regular basis, but I have no idea what their name is or what they do. They are never at church for anything other than to slip in unnoticed and slip out before people can get to know them.

Do you feel like you are lost in the crowd at church? Maybe it is not because everyone is rude and doesn’t want to spend time with you. Maybe it is because you have not made an effort to hang around for a few minutes and meet other believers.

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