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March 10, 2024 Sermon Notes and Questions

Who? Lesser Known People of the Bible

Wk 4 Simon of Cyrene, “The Truth About Inconvenience”

Mark 15:21. Matthew 27:32, Luke 23:26, and many others

March 10, 2024

Darin Elquist


Message Notes

Simon of Cyrene

Known for Carrying Jesus’ cross while walking to Golgotha.


Before Jesus is crucified, He was punished and tortured.

Mark 14:65

And some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists and say to Him, “Prophesy!” Then the officers took custody of Him and slapped Him in the face.

Mark 15:15

Intent on satisfying the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Mark 15:17

And they *dressed Him in purple, and after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on Him;

Simon of Cyrene, on his way to the temple has his plans changed.

Not by the Romans, but By God.

Matthew 27:32

As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they compelled to carry His cross.

Mark 15:21

And they *compelled a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to carry His cross.

Luke 23:26

And when they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, as he was coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

Simon Of Cyrene-

Born: Not Sure

Died: 100CE

From: Cyrene

Cyrene was a province of Cyrenaica and was a large city in modern day Libya. Today it’s called, Shahhat. In 642AD with the Arab conquest, Cyrene ceased to exist.

By Land:

Cyrene was about 800 miles away from Jerusalem

(55-60 day walk, or about 35 days by camel or horse.)

By Sea:

Cyrene was about 680 miles from Jerusalem.

(6 days by boat, then 1 to 2 days by land.)


Simon came to Jerusalem during the Passover to celebrate, but also to make a sacrifice at the temple.

By touching the cross of Jesus, some of the blood on the cross was transferred to Simon, making him “unclean” under the law.

This means he will not be going to the temple, and he will not be making that sacrifice.


Interestingly by becoming unclean under Jewish law,

soon he will be made clean by the sacrifice of Jesus and the very blood that made him unclean.

How many times this past week where you inconvenienced?

Have you ever had family issues that created inconvenience?

Have you ever had one or more dreams and/or goals shattered? …after working hard to make them a reality?

Have you ever been rejected even though you tried your best?

Romans 16:13 (NASB 20)

Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.

Romans 16:13 (NIV)

Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.

This is the same Rufus mentioned in Mark 15.

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

When did Jesus reach out to you? Has Jesus reached out to you? Is Jesus reaching out to you now?

Before letting some inconvenience frustrate you, instead see what you can learn from it.


1. Read Mark 15:16-21

     a. From memory, what are some of the events that day that lead up to the moment when Simon is compelled to help Jesus?

     b. Using a concordance or your version of the Bible, look up the word “compelled” in verse 21. Are there alternative translations/definitions for this word?

     c. Was there anything voluntary about Simon carrying the cross?

2.Put yourselves in Simon’s sandals, do you think it was fair what he had to do?

     a. Are there things in our lives that are just not fair?

     b. In light of eternity do you think Simon would regret this task?

     c. In light of eternity are the things that happen to us in life (as terrible as they may be) when they happen?

3. Why do you think no one stepped in to help Jesus when He fell?

     a. Where else in scripture does Simon of Cyrene appear?

     b. Where is Cyrene?

     c. What might be a reason for Simon to be in that area of Jerusalem at that time?

     d. In ancient times how long would it take him to walk from Cyrene to Jerusalem?

4.bWhat does it mean to be “unclean” in the Bible? Why is it a problem? 

     a. If someone is unclean, how do they get “clean” again?

5. Mark 15:21 mentions two children of Rufus.

     a. How could you look to see if they appear elsewhere in the Bible?

     b. Do a word search in your concordance for Rufus.

     c. What scripture shows up?

     d. What does it say about Rufus? D

     e. Do you think these scriptures are connected, Why or why not?

6. What are some of the things that may have been going through Simon’s mind after Jesus was crucified?

7. Does what God plans to do always happen?

     a. Read Proverbs 19:21

     b. How can we know if our plans align with God’s plans?

     c. Will we always know God’s plans? Why or why not?

Please continue to pray for the children’s ministry and that God will plant seeds in every child there.