Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.
In Romans 16, Paul gave personal greetings to 24 individuals in the church at Rome. In verse 13, he mentioned a man named Rufus. He said, “Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.” Now, Rufus’ mother was not Paul’s literal mother. She was a spiritual mother to him.
Who was Rufus? We have to go back to Mark 15:21 to find out who Rufus was.
Mark 15 talks about the day Jesus Christ was crucified. As Mark described Christ carrying His cross, he told the story of Simon of Cyrene. Simon of Cyrene was a Jew from Northern Africa who was on the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross, when Jesus passed by, carrying His cross. The authorities commanded this man, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross to Golgotha where Christ was crucified. Mark 15:21 says, “They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.” Notice that Mark 15:21 says Simon of Cyrene had two sons: Alexander and Rufus. Mark’s Gospel was written to the church at Rome. So when the believers there read Mark’s Gospel, the people at Rome knew this man, Rufus. He was a member of the church at Rome.
The question is, how did Rufus become a Christian? How did he end up becoming so influential in the church at Rome? Remember, his father was Simon of Cyrene. It is easy to understand what happened. Simon of Cyrene, a Jew, carried the cross of Christ to Golgotha. When he saw what happened there, he came to faith in Jesus. And he imparted that faith to his two sons, Rufus and Alexander. By the time Paul was writing these words to the church in Rome, apparently Simon was already dead, but Rufus had become a leader in the church–all because of the witness of his dad. So Paul sent a special greeting to Rufus, “a choice man in the Lord” (Romans 16:13).
Dads, this passage reminds me that all of us are going to be dead just like Simon. The most important legacy we will leave behind is our children and whether we imparted our faith to them. Has that sunk into you, dads? The most important thing you do as a parent is to introduce your son or daughter to faith in Jesus Christ. When the day comes–when, not if–when you are off the scene, what will your children remember about you? Will they remember you as a man who placed a premium on loving and serving Jesus Christ with all of his heart? That is the most important legacy that we will ever have. That was Rufus.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power Of A Positive Word” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.