Rufus means, literally, “red.”
William II, a king of England, was nicknamed Rufus because of the color of his hair.
The ancient Romans regularly gave the name Rufus to red-haired babies.
We meet our Biblical Rufus in the scriptures on two occasions, once in Mark and another time in Romans. As far as we can tell, both reference the same man.
“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.” Mark 15:21
“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.” Romans 16:13
Here’s what we know about Rufus and the 4 Impacts Rufus Made on Paul’s Life.
First, Rufus was the son of Simon of Cyrene. This is important because Simon carried the cross of Jesus down the Via Dolorosa, or the street Jesus walked in his final hours.
Second, Rufus was chosen by the Lord. Paul thinks highly enough of Rufus to single out Rufus for this honorable distinction among all Christians who are “chosen to follow in the faith.”
Third, Rufus’ mother treated Paul like her own son, and Paul seemed to consider Rufus his brother.
Fourth, Rufus’ family was Paul’s extended family. They essentially adopted the apostle after he became a Christian.
We don’t know the difference we will make in other people’s lives. Could Rufus have foreseen he was befriending the man who would pen definitive tomes that would one day form a significant portion of the Church’s Bible?
God places people in our path not only to benefit us, but for us to benefit the future in the way we treat those in our care.
Our impact on others lasts for generations, so let’s treat them with love.
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