Greet Rufus! (Rom 16:13)

“Greet Rufus!

Eminent in the Lord,


His mother

And mine.”

ἀσπάσασθε Ῥοῦφον τὸν ἐκλεκτὸν ἐν Κυρίῳ καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐμοῦ.

Paul said greet (ἀσπάσασθε) Rufus (Ῥοῦφον), who was eminent (τὸν ἐκλεκτὸν) in the Lord (ἐν Κυρίῳ), also his mother (καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ) and mine (καὶ ἐμοῦ).  Paul wanted the Roman Christians to greet Rufus, who had been chosen or was eminent among the followers of Jesus.  Who is this Rufus?  He was a Jewish Christian man in Rome, probably the brother of Alexander and the son of Simon of Cyrene, as indicated in Mark, chapter 15:21.  Only Mark mentioned that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.  Mark said that they compelled a passer-by who was coming from the country (καὶ ἀγγαρεύουσιν παράγοντά τινα…ἐρχόμενον ἀπ’ ἀγροῦ) to carry the cross for Jesus (ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ).  This passerby was Simon of Cyrene (Σίμωνα Κυρηναῖον), the father of Alexander and Rufus (τὸν πατέρα Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Ῥούφου).  Cyrene had a large Jewish community in current day Libya.  This Simon may have been in Jerusalem for the Passover.  Mark seemed to indicate that this Simon was well known with two sons, but Matthew and Luke did not mention the sons.  However, there was a Rufus mentioned here at the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans that could be this son of Simon.  He may have been known to Mark and Paul because of his father, but there was no specific indication of how Paul knew him.  However, there is another unique statement here.  Paul mentioned to greet the mother of Rufus, who would have been married to Simon of Cyrene.  Then he added that she was his mother also.  Was she like a mother to Paul or really his mother in Rome, with this Rufus his brother?  It seems reasonable to assume that she was like a mother to him.  Has someone been like a mother to you?