SEEING JESUS UNDER PRESSURE
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. Romans 16:13
Rufus was the son of Simon of Cyrene. This is the same Simon who carried Jesus’ cross through the streets – to the hill of Golgatha – when Jesus was too weak to do it himself. Simon was a Jew and would have grown up despising the Romans who oppressed them. To be commanded by Roman soldiers to carry the cross of a condemned man must have been bitter. He had to comply without a fight.
But on that journey, Simon saw Jesus under the greatest pressure of his life. There was no swearing. No vows to get even. Even in agony, Jesus was full of grace. There is no way to view a man’s darkest moments and not get a sense of ‘who and what’ he is really made of. There is a saying, “Who a man is under pressure is who a man is.” Can you imagine what Simon saw, what he heard, and how he was changed? Did he stay to watch the crucifixion? Did those hours at the foot of the cross draw Him to Christ?
Simon became a believer and passed on his faith to his sons. The stories he passed on to them at mealtime, at bedtime, were most likely tearful accounts of the most important walk of his life.
What I share of Christ, in tears, is what impacts others the most. No one cares what I know until they see that I am deeply moved by it. Preaching to my audience is the next best thing to sharing personal stories. No wonder Charles Wesley said, “I learned more about theology from my mother than from all the theologians in England.”
Oh Lord, help me not to be a know it all. Just a storyteller. Amen