The Man Who Carried Jesus’ Cross: The Hidden Significance of Simon of Cyrene’s Sons
by Erik Manning
Simon of Cyrene met Jesus in the most unusual way. Mark and Luke tell us he was coming back from the country. Whether out of curiosity or just being stuck in foot traffic, Simon ends up being a bystander to Jesus making his way to Golgotha. Weakened from the flogging, Jesus could no longer carry his cross by himself. Whether Simon felt any sympathy for Jesus or not, Roman soldiers forced him to help Jesus bear the weight of the cross the rest of the way. Coming face to face with the Man from Galilee in such a fashion would likely leave a lasting impression, and so his inclusion in the gospels makes sense.
But what is odd is Mark’s naming of his sons, as if they meant something to his audience. Notice that Matthew and Luke omit the names of his sons…