Who Helped Jesus Carry the Cross?

The bible tells the story of Simon of Cyrene, the man who helped Jesus carry the cross. What is the significance of Simon, and are there lessons to be learnt?

By Alice Bassett
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published February 28, 2022.

The man who helped Jesus carry his cross is spoken of three times in the bible: in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He is named in all three accounts, which is of utmost importance as no one is mentioned by name in the Bible without significant reason. It is speculated that he was addressed by name to add legitimacy to the accounts of Jesus' crucifixion. Whether this is the case or not, Simon is still an important figure in the Bible, and there are lessons we can learn from him.

Who Was Simon of Cyrene?

Simon of Cyrene was picked from the crowd of people to help Jesus carry His cross. Not much else is known about him other than where he was from (Cyrene being a region in Northern Africa) and that he was the father of Rufus and Alexander—disciples of Christ.

What Can We Learn From Simon of Cyrene?

The first lesson we learn from Simon of Cyrene is that our God has humility. For Jesus to accept help from a seemingly random man pulled from a crowd is a big feat. This shows us that it is not beneath someone even as mighty as Christ to accept help from others.

Secondly, this story makes us think of Jesus' words in Luke 9:23 (NKJV):

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

In this scripture, it is referring figuratively to allowing God to lead your path in life. The choice of the words "take up his cross daily" is powerful, as it shows a willingness and intent to choose God and his word every day. The story of Simon of Cyrene is a literal embodiment of these words from Christ, as he picked up the cross and followed Jesus' path.