Show me your ways, Lord
“As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they
forced him to carry the cross.” Matthew 27:32
Somebody once said, “There are three kinds of people in the world:
Well, that may be true, but probably not totally. If you want to know about a person watch how one reacts to an event of monumental importance. Have you ever been to a wake or funeral and stood back and watch the way people react? Some people feel they ought to grieve but can’t, so they fake it. Some people feel they ought to wail, but inside they feel they shouldn’t, so they stuff their feelings. Some people are so uncomfortable with the pain, so they make jokes then feel guilty about it. Others don’t know what to say and some say too much.
It’s interesting how people react to death, some people leave as soon as possible – probably because if they stay any longer, they might start thinking about their own mortality. Yes, you can tell a lot about people by watching the way they react to an event of monumental importance.
The most important event that has ever taken place was the death of the Son of God. Jesus Christ, a rabbi, hanging spread eagle on cross beams from the town’s garbage heap and it’s of great interest to look how people reacted to the momentous event.
As I studied this text I saw a lot of people there before the cross and saw myself there too. Would you take a minute to look at Simon of Cyrene, you’ll find his statement in Matthew 27:32, “As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.” Now, if you are familiar with the 15th chapter of Mark, you are aware in that account, Simon is called the father of Alexander and Rufus. Mark would not have said that without any explanation unless everybody he wrote to knew who Alexander and Rufus were – the question is: Why would they know? They knew Alexander and Rufus because they were members of the Christian community and everyone knew them.
Which means whatever happened to Simon that day when he was forced to carry the cross, affected his children because they became covenant children and they were believers at the time John Mark wrote the gospel. In Romans 16, the apostle Paul writes to a man by the name of Rufus and we aren’t sure that is the same Rufus who was the son of Simon, but it’s a pretty good bet.
Now, look at Acts chapter 13:1 “A man by the name of Simeon (a form of the name Simon), is spoken about there. The text says that he is of Niger which means “dark skin” that was in Northern Africa and Cyrene is in Northern Africa. So, what does that suggest to you? It is very important: Simon was a bystander and became a participant not only with his hands, but in his heart. You see Simon walking down the street whistling an old Jewish tune and the next minute – He is carrying a cross that he never asked for. Amazing he was minding his own business and in the next minute he was a participant in the greatest event of all history.
This week as I study this text, I was challenged not to be a bystander in my lifestyle. I need to make a difference in people’s lives. I need to continue to reach out to the lonely, desperate and hurting . . . those in need of our Savior. Thank you for your continued love and support of City Impact and those we work with daily.
Because of Him,
Betty Alvarez Ham, President
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