What Jesus Did! 'Carrying the Cross!' — Mark 15:21

Friday, December 4, 2020

A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside [as Jesus was led away to be crucified], and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus' cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.)
— Mark 15:21 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus told his followers, including those of us who follow him today, that we need to pick up our crosses and follow him (Mark 8:34). While Simon was forced to physically carry Jesus' cross to Golgotha, he also apparently picked up the cross spiritually because his sons, Alexander and Rufus, were known in the Christian community Mark was addressing. Paul also seems to have known one of the sons, Rufus, whom Paul described as one "whom the Lord picked out to be his very own" (Rom. 16:13). This situation with Simon and his sons is a great reminder that if we want to share our faith with our children, "carrying the cross" is a powerful example that helps them follow in our footsteps as we follow in Jesus' steps!

Today's Prayer

O Father God, please help me live as a powerful example before those in my family. May they clearly see that I don't just "talk the talk," but that I also "walk the walk." Give me courage as I genuinely commit to carry the cross each day. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 9:21-23
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-9
  • Romans 16:13


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Illustration of Mark 15:21 NLT —  (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.