Romans 16:13
Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
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(13) Rufus.—Simon of Cyrene is described in St. Mark’s Gospel (Mark 15:21) as “the father of Alexander and Rufus,” and as there is a substantial tradition, favoured by some internal indications, that this Gospel was written at Rome, it is not unlikely that the same Rufus may be meant.

Chosen in the Lord.—An eminent Christian.

His mother and mine.—His mother, who has also been like a mother to me.

16:1-16 Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It becomes Christians to help one another in their affairs, especially strangers; we know not what help we may need ourselves. Paul asks help for one that had been helpful to many; he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Though the care of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remember many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular characters of them, and express concern for them. Lest any should feel themselves hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named. He adds, in the close, a general salutation to them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.Chosen in the Lord - "Elect" in the Lord; that is, a chosen follower of Christ.

And his mother and mine - "His mother in a literal sense, and mine in a figurative one." An instance of the delicacy and tenderness of Paul; of his love for this disciple and his mother, as if he were of the same family. Religion binds the hearts of all who embrace it tenderly together. It makes them feel that they are one great family, united by tender ties, and joined by special attachments. See what the Lord Jesus declared in Matthew 12:47-50, and his tender address to John when he was on the cross; John 19:26-27.

13. Salute Rufus, chosen—"the chosen"

in the Lord—meaning, not "who is one of the elect," as every believer is, but "the choice" or "precious one" in the Lord. (See 1Pe 2:4; 2Jo 13). We read in Mr 15:21 that Simon of Cyrene, who was compelled to bear our Lord's cross, was "the father of Alexander and Rufus." From this we naturally conclude that when Mark wrote his Gospel, Alexander and Rufus must have been well known as Christians among those by whom he expected his Gospel to be first read; and, in all likelihood, this was that very "Rufus"; in which case our interest is deepened by what immediately follows about his mother.


his mother and mine—The apostle calls her "his own mother," not so much as our Lord calls every elderly woman believer His mother (Mt 12:49, 50), but in grateful acknowledgment of her motherly attentions to himself, bestowed no doubt for his Master's sake, and the love she bore to his honored servants. To us it seems altogether likely that the conversion of Simon the Cyrenian dated from that memorable day when "passing [casually] by, as he came from the country" (Mr 15:21), "they compelled him to bear the" Saviour's cross. Sweet compulsion, if what he thus beheld issued in his voluntarily taking up his own cross! Through him it is natural to suppose that his wife would be brought in, and that this believing couple, now "heirs together of the grace of life" (1Pe 3:7), as they told their two sons, Alexander and Rufus, what honor had unwittingly been put upon their father at that hour of deepest and dearest moment to all Christians, might be blessed to the inbringing of both of them to Christ. In this case, supposing the elder of the two to have departed to be with Christ ere this letter was written, or to have been residing in some other place, and Rufus left alone with his mother, how instructive and beautiful is the testimony here borne to her!

Salute Rufus; the same (it may be) of whom you may read, Mark 15:21.

Chosen in the Lord; a choice Christian, one eminent for gifts and graces. So, 2Jo 1:1, you read of an elect lady: he is supposed not to speak here of eternal election.

And his mother and mine; his mother by nature, mine by affection: she hath tendered me as a mother her son: see 1 Timothy 5:2.

Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord,.... This was a Roman name; frequent mention is made Jewish writings (u) of one Turnus Rufus, a Roman officer, that destroyed the temple, and ploughed up the city of Jerusalem; the name was in use among the Cyrenians, for one of the sons of Simon of Cyrene, whom the Jews compelled to carry the cross of Christ, was so called, Mark 15:21; and some have thought that the same person is here meant, nor is it unlikely; he is said to be one of the seventy disciples, and to be bishop of Thebes; See Gill on Luke 10:1. The apostle knew him, and that as one "chosen in the Lord"; meaning either that he was a choice believer in Christ, an excellent Christian, one of the highest form; for though all true believers have like precious faith, yet some are strong, and others weak, in the exercise of it; this man was eminent for his faith in Christ: or he might be one that was chosen to some office in the church, as to that of a deacon, or pastor; though had this been the case, it is much the particular office was not mentioned: rather therefore this is to be understood of his being chosen in Christ to grace and glory and that from all eternity; for the phrase is only used in one place more, Ephesians 1:4; and there most manifestly designs the election of persons in Christ, before the foundation of the world; which election is made not "for" Christ, or the sake of his merits, his blood, righteousness and sacrifice, which have no causal influence on this act, and which purely arises from the love and grace of God; nor merely "by" him as God equal with the Father, though this is true; but "in" him, as the head and representative of the chosen ones: this instance, as others, shows that election is not of nations, nor churches, but of particular persons; and so expresses the distinguishing, free, and sovereign grace of God in it, that one and not another should be chosen; though these are on an equal foot, and so not owing to foreseen faith, holiness, and good works. The apostle knew this man to be a chosen vessel, not by immediate revelation, or divine inspiration, but by his faith in Christ, and love to him, and by the power of the Gospel on him; and so may anyone know himself, or another man hereby to be chosen, and ought in a judgment of charity so to think of him, as long as his life is agreeably to his profession; see 1 Thessalonians 1:4. The apostle not only salutes this man, but his mother also, who doubtless was a believer in Christ, and highly respected by him:

and his mother and mine; the mother of Rufus in nature, and his mother in affection; and who very probably had endeared herself to the apostle by some kind offices, which she, as a Christian, had performed towards him; for the apostle cannot mean his own natural mother, besides Rufus's, whom he salutes, and whom Anselm on the place suggests might be at Rome; since it can hardly be thought he would have passed the mention of her in so transient a manner.

(u) T. Hieros. Taanioth, fol. 69. 2. T. Bab. Nedar. fol. 50. 2. Avoda Zara, fol. 20. 1. & Sanhedrin, fol. 65. 2. Juchasin, fol. 36. 2.

Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
Romans 16:13. Rufus may be the son of Simon of Cyrene, Mark 15:21. Comp. in loc. The fact that in Mark, who probably wrote in Rome, the man is assumed to be well known, would agree with the eulogy here: τὸν ἐκλεκτὸν ἐν κυρίῳ, the elect one in the fellowship of the Lord, i.e. who is distinguished as a Christian.[44] For if these words denoted merely the Christian, “who in fellowship with the Lord is chosen to blessedness” (Reiche), they would not—as is, nevertheless, the case with all the remaining predicates—express a special element of commendation.

καὶ ἐμοῦ] pregnant, delicate, and grateful hint of the peculiar love and care which Paul (where and how, is entirely unknown[45]) had enjoyed at her hands. Comp. Romans 16:2; 1 Corinthians 16:18; Philemon 1:11; and see on 1 Corinthians 1:2.

[44] On ἐκλεκτός, exquisitus, in the sense of excellens (comp. 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Peter 2:4; 2 John 1:13; Wis 3:14; Bar 3:30), because it is just the selected that is wont to be the eminently qualified, see Schleusner, Thes. II. p. 289. But Hofmann explains as if it ran τὸν ἐκλεκτόν μου: who is to me a choice Christian brother; he calls the ordinary interpretation unapostolic (wherefore?), and groundlessly appeals to τὴν ἀγαπητήν, ver. 12. In the case of the latter the loving subject is, according to a very common usage, self-evident.

[45] Hofmann entertains the conjecture, which is in no way capable of proof, that Rufus lived with his mother in Jerusalem when Paul himself sojourned there; and that then Paul dwelt in the house of the mother, and enjoyed her motherly care.—If, again, the demonstration of love intended falls in a later period of the apostle’s life, his expression in our passage is the more courteous; hence it by no means requires the above precarious combination.

Romans 16:13. Ῥοῦφον τὸν ἐκλεκτὸν ἐν Κυρίῳ: for the name see Mark 15:21. If Mark wrote his gospel at Rome, as there is ground to believe, this may be the person to whom he refers. In the gospel he is assumed to be well known, and here he is described as “that choice Christian”. ἐκλεκτὸν cannot refer simply to the fact of his election to be a Christian, since in whatever sense this is true, it is true of all Christians alike; whereas here it evidently expresses some distinction of Rufus. He was a noble specimen of a Christian. καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ κ. ἐμοῦ: where she had “mothered” Paul we do not know. For the idea cf. Mark 10:30.

13. Rufus] A Latin name. Possibly this was the Rufus of Mark 15:21, brother of Alexander and son of Simon the Cyrenian. Alexander and Rufus are apparently named by St Mark as well known in the Christian Church, and it is observable that his Gospel was probably written at Rome. But the name is a common one.

chosen in the Lord] Lit. the chosen one, &c. All true Christians might be so described, (Romans 8:33,) but this, as Meyer remarks, would not forbid a special and emphatic use of the word, in the case of a Christian remarkable for character or usefulness.

his mother and mine] Evidently, the mother of Rufus (possibly the wife of Simon the Cyrenian,) had endeared herself to St Paul by special Christian kindness; the sweeter to him as his own parents, probably, were long departed.

Romans 16:13. Ἐκλεκτὸν, chosen) a remarkable title, 2 John, Romans 16:1; Romans 16:13 1 Timothy 5:21.

Verse 13. - Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Observe the graceful way in which St. Paul intimates his obligation to the mother of Rufus, who at some time (though when and where we know not) had been as a mother to himself. Similar delicate courtesy of language is especially observable in the Epistle to Philemon. Romans 16:13Rufus

Meaning red. Possibly the son of Simon of Cyrene, Mark 15:21. Mark probably wrote in Rome.

And mine

Delicately intimating her maternal care for him.

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