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Salute Rufus!

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09_Sept_Salute Rufus

Salute Rufus
(Romans 16: 13)

This might appear to be a rather unusual title for a Blog, and Rufus might be an obscure character that not many people know about, but the very fact that his name appears in Scripture with such high esteem must be important.

His name is featured among a list of names at the end of the book of Romans and I was intrigued because I could remember his name being mentioned somewhere else, and so I did a bit of detective work and searched for him until I found him. 

“And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, 
the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.”
Mark 14: 31. 

Rufus - one of the sons of Simon who had a very important role to play in the life, or rather the end of the life of the Lord Jesus. He was compelled to bear the cross of Jesus behind Him. While the Lord Jesus was bearing the full weight of the cross at the front, Simon was behind carrying the part of the cross that would have been dragging in the dirt!

Such a task was the last thing on earth anyone would want to do, and such a man as Jesus who was about to be crucified was the last one that many would want to be associated with. But there was something about Simon, and his willingness to do this task made him an honourable man.

What an impact this must have made upon the life of this man. He would never forget the day when he walked with Christ to the place of His crucifixion. I wonder if he understood back then that Jesus was going to the cross to bear in His body the wrath of God for his sins. He would have heard the words of Jesus praying to His Father on the behalf of the Roman soldiers who were nailing Him to the rugged cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Maybe he was there to witness the darkness that came over the scene, and to hear the conversation that took place between Jesus and the repentant man on the cross next to him. Perhaps he heard Jesus cry with a loud voice: "it is finished!"

Whatever happened on that day, the task that he was given to do must have made a deep impression upon his soul that changed the course of his life forever.

He would never be the same man again. From that moment he would become a different man, a different husband, a different father! And one of his sons by the name of Rufus was among those named in the Scriptures as being a close acquaintance of the Apostle Paul!

Isn't this an amazing thing! So little is recorded about both of these men - Simon and his son Rufus, and yet they are important to God who made sure that their names were written with indelible ink in the Word of God.

How important it is to understand that our lives as insignificant as they may appear to be, are making an impact on others around us for good or for bad.

Perhaps those people maybe our children, perhaps they are siblings, schoolmates, work colleagues, neighbours… the list could go on and on. Perhaps our demeanour may be affecting the life of somebody we just don't know. Consider the Cashier at the Supermarket, the Road Sweeper, the Postman, or the man who cleans the windows… 

What is most important for us to remember is that every life is precious no matter how great or small they may appear to be in human estimation, and every soul is precious to God!

Whatever it was that Rufus did that caused the Apostle to encourage others to salute him must have been important to him, and he publicly acknowledged this man. And the kind of man that he had become all started with a godly father who wasn't afraid to be associated with the crucified Christ.

What an impact we can have and who knows how greater impact that could be if only we could demonstrate our unswerving devotion to that same Christ that Simon was devoted to. 

I had occasion sometime ago to make a statement that I standby even to this very day, and it goes something like this: “Don't ever allow us to be overcome by the pressure this world demands upon us for our children. Do not let us ever feel that we must go beyond the simplicity of a godly walk to persuade our children to walk with God, because …

The greatest thing a parent could ever do for their children
is to give to them a father and a mother who is completely satisfied with Jesus.”

This is the rock solid foundation that not only a child needs but we all need! Simon was a man who was plunged right into the very depths of the world's rejection of Christ, but he didn't refuse such a task, and I believe he is probably eternally glad that he was the one compelled "to bear the cross after Jesus."

But while writing this article, I have noticed something else - nobody would have chosen to have done such a task is this; I mean who would wake up in the morning with the desire to carry the foot end of the cross behind a flogged, bleeding and rejected man who is being jeered and mocked every step of the way?

Perhaps there are some tasks that we would very much prefer not to do. But do not despise the task, if it is associating you with the crucified Christ. Contrary to public opinion, it is an absolute honour to be in such a position. It's what matters to God that is most important, and He will make sure that honour is given to whom honour is due!

If it is therefore true, (and so it is), that everything that we do has an impact on somebody else, then our little lives are important after all!

So be encouraged all of you who are feeling insignificant and unappreciated, because God values you, and your willingness to be associated with the One that the world has rejected brings to Him great pleasure, and comes with great reward.

Let us therefore have His pleasure, His honour and His glory as the primary objects and motive behind all that we do and say… after all, look what He has done for us!

He was not averse to being associated with the likes of us. He did not shy or turn away from going to the cross on our account, but rather was steadfastly minded to go straight there without any diversion.

Therefore such love demands everything that we have and all that we are in response. May we not be ashamed of the One who loved us and gave Himself for us, and may our lives be such an influence for good to those around us so that many more characters like Rufus maybe raised up to be honoured and saluted. :)

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h2h_Before Great Men 1

Related topic - "Before Great Men"

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Here's how to know for sure you can be ready for heaven.
It's as simple as 'ABC'

 ABC

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>> Do you have any questions or comments about the above thoughts I would love to hear from you - 
      why not say hello down below! 

 

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