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Romans 16:13 mentions a man named Rufus, and the apostle Paul wrote as though Rufus’s mother was also his own mother. Were the two men related?

No, Rufus and the apostle Paul were not blood relatives. The Rufus of Romans 16:13 is quite likely the Rufus mentioned in Mark 15:21:

Now they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.

Rufus, then, was a son of the man who carried Jesus’ cross to Golgotha when He no longer had the strength to do it. Romans 16 is a warm, wonderful portion of Scripture.

First, Rufus was obviously an admirable Christian man, since verse 13 identifies him as “chosen in the Lord.” Second, his mother was a loving, caring person who had a mother/son relationship with the apostle Paul. This mother is a perfect example of a woman who reaches beyond the circle of her immediate family to give others the love and care they need. That’s the heart of a true mother.

Do you have feedback or a Bible question to submit? Send to or mail to Norman A. Olson in care of the Baptist Bulletin, 1300 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173-4806.

Reprinted from the Baptist Bulletin (May 2004).
© 2004 Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.

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