Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I am Simon

"On their way out they met a Cyrenian named Simon.  This man they pressed into service to carry the cross."
Matthew 27:32

This verse has been ringing in my thoughts.  I didn't hear or read it recently.  I just thought of it and can't stop thinking of it.  I looked it up in every Gospel.  It is in every on except for John.  The words were almost identical in each one.  The word "pressed" stands out to me and was used in each Gospel.  It is apparent that Simon didn't want to help Jesus.  He was forced to.  I wonder about the interaction between he and Jesus.  Did they interact?  Were they both just trying to carry the heavy wood?  I doubt Jesus was.  He knew exactly who was with him, helping him.  Was Simon appalled walking next to a beaten, bloodied man he perceived as a criminal? Was Simon ashamed that people could possibly associate Him with Jesus?  Or...was he moved with compassion?  Was there a moment of grace where Simon realized who he was walking beside?  When he was done, was he relieved or converted?  I wonder about these things. 

I wonder about them because I can relate to Simon.  We can all think of a cross we have been pressed to carry at some point in our lives.  Maybe some of us can think of many, or a cross that has been carried for a very long time.  Whether it is forced upon us or not, the question to me is, what has become of me because of it?  Do I allow Jesus to make all things new in me?  Do I allow myself to be moved with compassion for Him and the world, or do I scuff and complain at the load?  Am I open to a deeper love?  To deeper conversion?  Or am I just waiting to be relieved of my duty? 

Yes to all of the above at different times.

As I searched Scripture for the passage I checked all the Gospels because I wanted to know if any of them talked about what happened to Simon.  I wanted to read the next verse and hear it say, "And he looked at Jesus after he helped carry the Cross and proclaimed, 'You are the Son of God!'"  None of the Gospels mention what happened to Simon.  I guess it is up to us to see how Simon responded.  We are all, or have been, or some day will be...Simon.

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