As they led him away, they took hold of a certain Simon, a cyrenian, who was coming from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.
Two things that come to mind as I read this. First, that Jesus Christ our Lord allowed Simon to help him carry the cross, is a lesson that Jesus desired for us to share in his suffering. As such, it is in order then that as Christians whatever cross life places in our path. We should accept with humility and soldier on for we are not alone, we are with Christ. (Jesus was beside Simon as he carried the cross) We should trust when Jesus says he will never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb 13:5)
Secondly, I am thinking if I was there when Jesus was suffering, like Simon, I would have helped him. I believe that’s the same for you dear reader. But, how often have we seen the wounds and pain of our brothers and sisters and did not recognize them as Jesus’? Remember he says whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me. (Matth 25: 40)
Lately we live in a world where individualism is preferred over communal sharing. People look out for themselves more than others. consider this: when is the last time you bought food or drink for the hungry or the beggar by the roadside or just the less fortunate? Have you ever bought clothes or shared clothes that you do not need among those who did not have? Leave alone doing it in the hope of getting something in return. what about the homeless and the strangers, have you been kind to them? Have you shown them love in any way?
Jesus Christ desires us to be of service to others more than anything (Matthew 20:26) for in serving others we are expressing love. Jesus spent his entire life serving people. (Phil 2:7) The climax of his ‘servant hood’ comes just before crucifixion when he washes his disciples feet. (John 13:5) He also lets Simon help him to carry the cross thus granting Simon his first lesson in serving others. Not only do we learn about service to others but also the fact that Jesus teaches us that it is okay to get and need help when we are overwhelmed, no wonder he talked about casting our burdens upon him and he will sustain us. The best lesson here is that in the kingdom of God, authority is not greatness but servant hood is.
Dear Lord Jesus, many are the times I have looked down upon service to others knowingly or unknowingly not realizing I am shunning the greatness of your kingdom. Forgive me. Now that I know, I desire to be of service to all that come across my path by default or not. Open my eyes to be able to see you in the least of my brothers and sisters, open my heart to receive them always and render my service unconditionally regardless of color, creed or race like you did. Let me be that ‘helper’ to my brothers or sisters outweighed by their crosses. Amen