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Stations of the Cross, Station Eight

Brief Description of Station 8 and the reason why the secondary images are included

Station 8 – Simon of Cyrene (Matt 27:32 ; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26)

a. Solomon prays for foreigners (1 Kings 8:41-43)
b. Naaman the Syrian comes to faith (2 Kings 5:1-19a)

Reason – Solomon prays for the foreigners who will come to faith in the true God and Simon is one of those foreigners that does so. Christ is for all people.
Naaman the Syrian is another foreigner that came to faith in the true God and his conversion foreshadows baptism.

Meditation

He came to Jerusalem for the holy day, to celebrate with fellow believers. Simon had no idea he would become part of the fulfillment of the very scripture-promises in which he believed. He was a foreigner, a convert to the true faith, a physical example of what God had promised to Abraham when he said he would be a blessing to all people.

There are plenty of examples in the Bible of this global reach of God. When Solomon dedicated the new temple, he prayed. He did not just pray for the nation of Israel, but also foreigners who come to faith in the God of Abraham. Solomon was clear in his prayer that God’s response to these foreigners’ prayers would become a mighty testimony to the Living God around the world.

Did it work? Well it did for Naaman, the Syrian, who came to Israel because of the witness of a captive Israelite slave-girl. He came with Leprosy … he left with his health restored, and a new faith, a faith in the one true God, a faith in the promised Messiah, a faith in Jesus.

Simon epitomized this love of God for the stranger, the foreigner. It is why Jesus said, “for God so loved the world,” not ‘for God so loved Israel.’ God is the God of all. Those who know Jesus know the one true God, who offers forgiveness and salvation.

O Lord Jesus, we all were born foreigners and strangers to you and your kingdom, but you have granted to us a new birth into citizenship in your kingdom. Grant that we can be responsible citizens, praying for all, that all may come to know you as the King, their Lord, their God. Amen.

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