Simon of Cyrene
How does a chance encounter with Jesus change a person's life?
How much has a chance encounter with another Christian changed your life?
How much has a chance encounter with you changed another person to follow Christ?
Came out of palace of Herod
No Roman or Jew wanted to carry the cross
Why did they pick Simon?
Walked behind Jesus
He was “trapped” in the crowd
He was aware what was going on
He was just “passing by”
He was “going out of the country”
This was a chance encounter
Mark names his two sons – Alexander and Rufus
Why does Mark name his two sons?
Mark writes to the Roman world – Christians in Rome
Is there any more to this story?
Acts 13:1 Barnabas was from Cyprus; Lucius was from Cyrene
Where was Simon from? Cyrene (City in Lybia, North Africa, next to Egypt)
He is called Niger (black)
Remember his two sons? Alexander and Rufus
Romans 16:13 Paul greets Rufus and his mother
Paul had not been to Rome; (Acts 11:20 – men from Cyrene were where Paul was in Antioch)
How would Paul know Rufus and his mother?
Within a few years 1 of 5 major centers of Christianity was Alexandria (same part of north west Africa as Cyrene)
Can we “connect the dots”?
Lessons to learn
The Bible is a fascinating book
Make sure you don't just “pass by”
What appears to be a curse can turn out to be a blessing
God's providence is much easier to see looking backward
WHAT IF: You were in that crowd, compelled to carry cross – How would you react?
Anger, resentment, WHY ME?
Stand it awe at the faith of the people around the cross
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