Rufus and Alexander and the Power and Reality of the Gospel by Paul Sanders

Alexander and Rufus: The Power and Reality of the Gospel

by Paul Sanders

ESV: Mark Chapter 15 :21. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

There is much speculation that because Mark chose to mention the names of Alexander and Rufus it indicates that these men became believers and were known members of the early church at Jerusalem. Here’s a question, if this is the case, what would have compelled these young men to become believers in Christ? For all we know, they merely saw Jesus crucified as a criminal on a Roman cross. This does not seem to be much motivation to become His follower. Also, if they saw the Apostles, they saw them at their weakest and darkest moment. Shortly thereafter, the church faced violent, brutal persecution at the hand of Jewish and Roman enemies. What out of all of these circumstances could have possibly motivated these young men to become followers of Christ?

Simply the fact that these men are mentioned in Scripture and were more than likely followers of Jesus is a strong indication of the truthfulness, validity and power of the the Gospel of Jesus. The cards were stacked against these boys in almost every way. Unless Christ was raised from the dead, unless the Church was birthed in power by the Holy Spirit, unless the Gospel is the only true life-changing message of repentance and forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ, the book of Mark would not have needed to be written and these boys names being written there would have definitely not made any sense at all. But, the book was written, their names were mentioned and the Gospel continues to draw the most unlikely of candidates with its life changing power.

ESV: Romans Chapter 1 :16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

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