His name was Simon. Not Simon Peter, just Simon. Not even Simon Bar-somebody, simply because this Simon was the son of a nobody. This Simon did not leave a great impression on people either. When if you bring him up in a conversation and you want the listener to know which Simon this Simon is, you don’t say the baker, the barber, the lawyer, or even Simon the street sweeper, you say Simon the father of Andrew and Rufus. This Simon was identified by his boys, that everybody knew. However, this Simon did do something that nobody else could do or ever will do.
It happened like this. In or around the year 36, Simon the father of Andrew and Rufus had traveled from his home in northern Africa to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem. This was also the year that Jesus was crucified. Simon witnessed only a small part of the events that preceded the crucifixion, but it caused the only thing that Simon is remembered for. He saw Jesus stumble and fall. Jesus had endured all a man could physically endure and was awfully close to dying right there in the middle of the road. He needed help, and he needed it then. The help could not come from Heaven or even from angels. The price had to be paid by a man and for the rest of Jesus’ walk to death, Simon carried the cross as he followed Jesus the rest of the way.
Now, Jesus is on another kind of journey, a walk to be crowned the King of kings and Lord of lords. His goal is to “seek and to save” as many people as possible, for he already paid the ultimate price for the sins of every person you meet. It cannot happen by miracle or by angels, the commission was given to men, and Jesus needs help. He needs help now. Jesus is looking for someone who will follow him, carrying a cross, the rest of the way. Wil you be that somebody?
Pastor Alton Thornhill