Have you ever read a familiar passage of Scripture only to have a certain part of that passage reach up and slap you right across the face? It just happened to me this week. I was reading in Mark chapter 15 about Jesus’ crucifixion, the part where Simon the Cyrenian was helping Jesus carry His cross. Do you recall Simon’s sons being mentioned? Read this with me…
“Then they compelled a certain man, Simon the Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.” Mark 15:21 NKJV
Who are Alexander and Rufus, and why are they mentioned in Mark’s gospel?
There are a few reasons why these two lads are mentioned. One belief is they became missionaries and were prominent members of the early church. Another belief is they were listed as eyewitnesses, who could be called upon to verify if Mark’s gospel was accurately recorded.
Either way, Mark found it important enough to list these two young men in his gospel account where their father Simon helped Jesus carry His cross. They are rather obscure figures when it comes to men listed in the Bible. Alexander isn’t mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. Rufus and his mother are mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:13. It’s another brief reference – “Greet Rufus chosen in the LORD, and his mother and mine.”
I’m not sure where you are right now in life. Are you a prominent figure of our times who is always in the headlines? Are you a back page figure supporting a more prominent person in society? Maybe you are somewhere in between. Regardless of where you stand in the pecking order of society, did you know that you too could have you name written in a very important book of God’s, the Book of Life?
How does one get their name written in the Book of Life? In Malachi chapter 3 and verse 16 the prophet writes, “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.” Do you fear the name of the LORD? Have you repented of your sin? Have you surrendered your life to the living God, Jesus the Christ?
Jesus paid the price for our sins by dying a brutal death in our place on the cross. The same cross that Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, helped Jesus carry so we could be forgiven and our names written in the book of Life if only we believe in Jesus.
Friends if you haven’t repented and turned to the LORD Jesus Christ for redemption and forgiveness of sins, I urge you to do so right now. Simply cry out to God and ask Him to forgive you of your wrongs (your sins) and ask Him to save you. This is how we overcome sin and in doing so, you will have your name written in the Book of Life!
Revelation 3:5 – “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
Until we meet again – love like Jesus!