A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of…Rufus. (Mark 15:21)
Let’s continue doing a biographical study of another person mentioned in Romans 16. In Romans 16:13 we read, “Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.”
There is only one other mention of a Rufus in the New Testament. It’s found in Mark 15:21, “A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.”
This Rufus probably never forgot the day his dad was forced into carrying the cross for Jesus during the final stage of His way to Golgatha. He no doubt watched the crucifixion and death of Jesus. If the reference in Romans is about the same Rufus then his being chosen was probably related to this experience. Since his family came from Cyrene, a city in North Africa between Carthage and Alexandria, he could very well have migrated to Rome.
But if the Rufus mentioned in Romans 16:13 is a different man, then it is clear he grew up in a home where his mother was a true, behind the scenes, Christian servant. She had provided motherly love and provision to Paul. Rufus was likely chosen as a result of seeing the quality of commitment in his mother as well as his exposure to Paul in his home.
Correlating this information which we have collected on Rufus into an outline could look something like this: Title: How God Chose Rufus. 1. The power of parental example. 2. The power of hospitality practiced. 3. The power of a genuine heart response.
Based on this outline, what application(s) could you make to your own life?