His Mother and Mine

Jim Voisey, Cardiff, Wales [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Many mothers are mentioned in the Bible, ranging from Eve 'the mother of all living', Gen. 3. 20, to the two mystical and symbolic mothers of the book of the Revelation chapters 12 and 17. Among the noble roll-call of 'mothers in Israel' and in the early church, we find many godly women who are still examples for us today.

In Romans I 6, Paul is remembering old friends. Here we have glimpses of those enduring bonds of love and fellowship which should ever be the characteristic of the Lord's people. Among these friends we meet Rufus and his mother.

'Chosen in the Lord'. In one sense, these words are true of every Christian, but they must have some special significance here concerning Rufus. Is it possible that this is the Rufus mentioned in Mark's gospel as one of the sons of Simon of Cyrene, Mark 15. 21? Or are we to think of him as distinguished in some other way?

'And his mother and mine'. The apostle is acknowledging something special about the mother of Rufus. She had become a 'mother' to Paul too, and he confers upon her his own personal blessing. Although not named, she is now distinguished for ever. Her humble duties did not escape God's from on high notice. She surely deserved this tribute to her - in all likelihood, she was loving, discreet, chaste, a keeper at home, hospitable to strangers and a woman of faith unfeigned; see 1 Tim. 5. 10; 2 Tim. 1. 5; Tit. 2. 3-5.

Do we discern this lady's influence on Paul when, among the Thessalonians, he showed himself 'as gentle as a mother is when she tenderly nurses her own children', 1 Thess. 2. 7 (Weymouth). God Himself used the imagery of a mother comforting her children to assure His people that He would never forget them, Isa. 49. 13-16; 66. 13.

Mothers often serve God faithfully, unseen by others and taken for granted. But God would have us to honour them. Both King Lemuel and King Solomon are on record as having honoured their mothers. 'Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her', Prov. 31. 28. 'And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand', 1 Kings 2. 19.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Jim Voisey is in fellowship in the assembly meeting at Adamsdown Gospel Hall in Cardiff and has recently retired from his job as a university lecturer.