Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Romans 16:13
Paul’s words are now directed to a greeting for “Rufus, chosen in the Lord.” The name Rufus means “red.” This implies red hair and it was a common name of the time. But what may make this particular Rufus exceptional is what is found in Mark 15:21 –
“Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.”
Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry the cross of Christ and his two sons are specifically noted by Mark which indicates that they were probably well-known by him at the time he wrote his Gospel. This then brings in the great possibility that this is the son of the man who was there at Calvary. Paul says he is “chosen in the Lord.” This is a way of saying that he is approved of by Christ and set apart as a saint. The same type of terminology is found in Ephesians 1:4 –
“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
When one calls on Jesus Christ as Lord, they become members of Christ. God knew the selection from “before the foundation of the world” but it isn’t known to us until the moment we come to Him. There is a marvelous synergism going on when a believer is directed from before creation itself to the moment where they call out to God in Christ. This Rufus was one such person, now noted by Paul.
Along with Rufus, Paul extends his greeting to “his mother and mine.” It certainly doesn’t mean that they were brothers, but that the mother of Rufus acted as a mother to Paul. He is tenderly noting her as if she were his own mother. This is similar to what Christ did for John when He was on the cross. This unnamed woman was a mother to Paul just as Mary became a mother to John.
Life application: The Bible is full of wonderful patterns and details. But we can’t find them if we don’t study it. Never tire of remembering every name, number, and location. Eventually, patterns will arise to help us see a greater picture of God’s wonderful hand in redemptive history.
Lord God, as I read Your word, I feel closer to You than at any other time. Because Your Spirit authored it’s contents, it is a direct connection to Your very heart and mind. I know that You have given us this great treasure to search and to study, so please give me the strong desire to take advantage of what it has to say. I simply love Your word, O God. Amen.