Insight to the Word

Though Simon of Cyrene is mentioned in each of the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26), we know very little about him. Aside from his hometown being in Cyrene, all we know of Simon is that he had two sons, Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15:21). This small piece of information, however, takes on possible significance when considered in the light of the belief of many that Rome was Mark’s primary audience for his gospel record. Why? First, it seems unlikely that Mark would’ve mentioned the sons’ names unless they were somewhat known to the early Christian community. Second, Paul mentioned a person named Rufus in his letter to Rome: “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too” (Romans 16:13). It may be that the Rufus of the church at Rome was one of the sons of the man who carried Jesus’ cross.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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