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Simon of Cyrene


  1. How does a chance encounter with Jesus change a person's life?

  2. How much has a chance encounter with another Christian changed your life?

  3. How much has a chance encounter with you changed another person to follow Christ?

Physical Evidence

  1. Matthew 27:31-33

    1. Came out of palace of Herod

    2. Compelled

      1. Matthew 5:41

      2. No Roman or Jew wanted to carry the cross

      3. Why did they pick Simon?

  2. Luke 23:25-26

    1. Walked behind Jesus

    2. He was “trapped” in the crowd

    3. He was aware what was going on

  3. Mark 15:20-24

    1. He was just “passing by”

    2. He was “going out of the country”

    3. This was a chance encounter

    4. Mark names his two sons – Alexander and Rufus

    5. Why does Mark name his two sons?

    6. Mark writes to the Roman world – Christians in Rome

Circumstantial Evidence

  1. Is there any more to this story?

  2. Acts 11:19-20

  3. Acts 13:1 Barnabas was from Cyprus; Lucius was from Cyrene

    1. Where was Simon from? Cyrene (City in Lybia, North Africa, next to Egypt)

    2. He is called Niger (black)

  4. Remember his two sons? Alexander and Rufus

    1. Romans 16:13 Paul greets Rufus and his mother

    2. Paul had not been to Rome; (Acts 11:20 – men from Cyrene were where Paul was in Antioch)

    3. How would Paul know Rufus and his mother?

  5. Within a few years 1 of 5 major centers of Christianity was Alexandria (same part of north west Africa as Cyrene)

  6. Can we “connect the dots”?

Lessons to learn

  1. The Bible is a fascinating book

  2. Make sure you don't just “pass by”

  3. What appears to be a curse can turn out to be a blessing

  4. God's providence is much easier to see looking backward

  5. WHAT IF: You were in that crowd, compelled to carry cross – How would you react?

    1. Anger, resentment, WHY ME?

    2. Stand it awe at the faith of the people around the cross

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