In my Bible reading this morning (Deuteronomy 30-31; Mark 15), I came across the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Specifically, I read about how Jesus had to carry His own cross to the place where He would be crucified.
There is a verse that I found intriguing. It is Mark 15:21 and it says: “A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.)”
One principle that a reader of Scripture must realize is that nothing, absolutely nothing, is put in the Bible without purpose. We may not always know the purpose and may not find out until we get to Heaven. Yet, we can be assured that in the economy of words used in Scripture, everything that God said through the Bible writers is there intentionally.
So, that being said, why did Mark mention that the man who helped carry Jesus’ cross (whose name was Simon of Cyrene) had two sons named Alexander and Rufus? Could it be that Mark anticipated that some of his Gentile readers would know those guys?
Could it be that one of those sons was mentioned in Romans 16:13? Could it be that at least one of Simon’s sons would be an incredible blessing to the Apostle Paul? In his letter to the Christians living in Rome, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me.”
As I pointed out in last night’s Bible study, the Bible is like a puzzle that is beautifully put together. Even though it was written over a 1,400-1,500 year period by about 40 authors from all walks of life, it is obvious that a divine Author was behind it since everything fits together so perfectly.
The fun thing about Bible study is that as you get more and more familiar with the Bible’s content, you will begin to see things fit together more often. Pretty cool!