Biblical People

Biblical People: Simon (6) from Cyrene

Another biblical character who only appears in one scene in the Bible (albeit in three different books) is a man we know as Simon. He comes from Cyrene—as in Simon from Cyrene. Simon is a man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

According to the practice of crucifixion, the soldiers make Jesus carry his own cross to the site of his execution. In his weakened state, from the beatings and abuse heaped upon him, he’s not able to do so.

The soldiers certainly don’t want to lug this heavy instrument of death through the city streets, so they grab someone and force him to do it. The man’s name is Simon.

Other than knowing where Simon comes from and him being a victim of bad timing, we know one more thing about him. He has two boys: Alexander and Rufus. Aside from these things, we know nothing else about him. We can only wonder.

Is he a friend of Jesus or a foe? Does he see his forced labor as a service to his Savior or helping to end the life of a man who the Jewish leaders deride as a heretic?

We also don’t know what happens to Simon afterwards. Is his life forever changed because of his brief meeting with Jesus? Does he feel guilt for his unwilling role in bringing about the death of an innocent man?

Perhaps Simon ends up following Jesus. We can hope so, that his encounter with Jesus changes his life forever.

When we encounter Jesus, what is our response?

[Discover more about Simon from Cyrene in Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, and Luke 23:26.]

Read more about other biblical characters in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at