Simon of Cyrene
A Devotional Look at the Man Who Carried the Cross of Jesus
F. Wayne Mac Leod
Light To My
Path Book Distribution
Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, CANADA B1V 1Y5
Simon of Cyrene
Copyright © F. Wayne Mac Leod
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The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ® (ESV ®) Copyright © by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition 2007
Simon of Cyrene is an obscure Bible character who had a tremendous role to play at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. Three out of four gospels mention his name and the fact that he carried the cross of Jesus, but there is very little else known about him.
Hidden in the few verses of Scripture that mention his name are some interesting details about the work Jesus carried out that day. Simon’s role was not only to minister to the Lord Jesus by carrying his cross but also to show us something about the work Christ accomplished on our behalf.
The goal of this short study on the person of Simon of Cyrene is to see his significance in revealing Christ and His ministry. May the Lord be pleased to bless this work for the glory of His name.
F. Wayne Mac Leod
We read about Simon of Cyrene in three out of the four Gospels.
 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. (Matthew 27)
 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mark 15)
 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus (Luke 23)
Everything we know about this obscure character is found in these three verses. Our task is to examine what these verses tell us to see what we can discover about Simon and the role he played during the crucifixion of Jesus. Let’s begin with his name.
It is generally believed that the name Simon is of Hebrew origin. It is derived from the name Shim’on which means “he has heard.” The first reference to the name Simon is found in Genesis 29:33. He was the son of Abraham through his wife, Leah:
 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. (Genesis 29)
Leah named her child Simeon because God had heard her prayer for a child and knew that she was unloved.
According to Wikipedia, it was one of the most popular Jewish names in the first century among Palestinian Jews (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_(given_name).
What this tells us about Simon of Cyrene is that he had a Hebrew name. In our day, we use names from different origins. This was not so much the case in the days in which Simon lived. In those days, it was relatively easy to determine the nationality of a person by the name he or she bore. It is likely that Simon then was of Jewish ancestry.
Simon is never referred to in Scripture by his first name alone. He is always called Simon of Cyrene or Simon from the region of Cyrene.
Cyrene was located on the North coast of Africa in the current day country of Libya. It was founded by the Greeks in the 7th Century BC and was of some agricultural significance in the day. It would eventually become part of the Roman Empire. By the New Testament period, the city of Cyrene contained a large population of Jews. (Philip W. Comfort, Ph.D., Walter A. Elwell, Ph.D. (ed), “Cyrene,” Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Electronic Edition, L A R I D I A N: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2001). It is possible that some of these Jews from Cyrene came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover in the days when Jesus was crucified.
While his name indicates that Simon originally came from Cyrene, is unclear from Scripture if he had just come to Jerusalem for the Passover or if he had moved from Cyrene to live in the region. Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene was the father of Alexander and Rufus.
 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mark 15)
Mark 15 describes Simon as a “passerby” who was from Cyrene. The way Mark speaks about Simon seems to indicate that he was not a well-known individual at that time. He was a passerby to many who saw him that day. He was also a foreigner who had not grown up in Jerusalem.
While Mark feels compelled to explain who Simon was, this is not the case for his sons. They are referred to by their first names, Alexander and Rufus. Mark identifies Simon through his sons, who appear to be more well known.
We have a reference in Acts 19:33 to a Jewish leader by the name of Alexander, who was called to defend the Jews in a time of uproar in Ephesus. Paul sent greetings to a man by the name of Rufus and his mother in Romans 16:13. While is it difficult to say if these men were the sons of Simon of Cyrene, the passage seems to imply at least that Simon’s sons were known in the community at the time.
The fact that people seemed to know Simon’s sons causes us to wonder how this could be the case if they did not live in the region of Jerusalem. Could it be that Simon moved to the area with his family from Cyrene? We do not have a clear answer to this question.
What we learn about Simon in these verses is that he was likely a Jew who had lived in Cyrene in North Africa. He had two sons who seem to be known in Jerusalem. While we do not know if he as living permanently in the region or just visiting, he was present during the days of Christ’s crucifixion. It was this relatively obscure individual that would be chosen by God to carry the cross of the Lord Jesus on the way to Calvary.
What does Simon’s name teach us about him and his background?
Consider the fact that a Jew from current-day Libya was chosen to carry the cross of Jesus. We have no indication of Simon knowing Jesus. What does this tell us about the kind of people God chooses for His purpose?
Thank the Lord that He reaches out to the most unlikely people and uses them for His purpose. Thank Him for how He has chosen you to be His child. Ask Him to give you a sense of His purpose for your life.
God uses people in different ways. He chose Simon to bear a heavy burden for the Lord Jesus. Are you willing to bear the responsibility God has given you? Will you take up your cross to follow Him as Simon did?
Two of the gospels tell us that, on the occasion of the crucifixion of Jesus, Simon was “coming in from the country” (Mark 15:21; Luke 23). The Greek word used for “country” in these verses is the word “agros” which refers to a field or a piece of cultivated land.
The Bible does not tell us why Simon was in the countryside. Did he live there? Was he working in the fields? Was he returning from the country to a home in the city? We do not know. Mark describes Simon, however, as a “passerby.” This word may give us a better understanding of Simon.
Consider what was happening at the time that Simon was coming out of the countryside into the city of Jerusalem. The Roman soldiers had mocked and beaten Jesus. Now they were leading Him down the streets of the Jerusalem to the hill of Calvary. People stood at the side of the road, watching this procession. All eyes were focused on Jesus as He carried His cross on the way to the execution.
It is in this context that we read in Mark 15:21, “And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country… to carry his cross.” Simon is a passerby. In other words, it was not his purpose to watch what was going on. He was on his way to something else, and this procession was a mere distraction in his routine. As a passerby, he had not come to see the Lord go to the cross. He may not have been particularly interested in what was happening that day. He had other things to do.
While Simon had other things on his mind that day, God had a purpose for his day. In John’s account of the procession to Calvary, he tells us that Jesus bore his own cross:
 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. (John 19)
From the other Gospels, we see that the soldiers found Simon of Cyrene and compelled him to carry the cross of Jesus. There is no contradiction here. Jesus began by carrying His cross, but because He was weak from the beating the soldiers had given him, was unable to continue.
Seeing that Jesus was unable to carry His cross, the soldiers went out among the crowd in search of a man who could bear it for him. Simon, who was passing by at that time, was the man they chose. The words used to describe the encounter between Simon and the Roman soldiers are significant. Matthew and Mark both tell us that they “compelled” Simon to carry the cross of Jesus (ESV). Luke says that they “seized” Simon and laid the cross on him.
The soldiers were not looking for a volunteer to carry the cross for Jesus. They forced Simon to change his plans and pick up that cross. The idea is that if he did not listen to what they told him to do, there would be repercussions. Simon did not choose to carry the cross of Jesus. The cross was chosen for him.
Here before us, we have a picture of a man who is going about his normal routine. He had no interest in the Lord Jesus and what was happening to Him. Jesus was a stranger to him. God, however, had a plan for Simon. The timing of his visit to Jerusalem was perfect. He was at the right place at that right time. The decision to find someone to carry the cross for Jesus seemed to be unplanned. As Jesus struggled and stumbled with the cross, the soldiers in charge made a spur of the moment decision to get someone to carry it for Him. Going out into the crowd, they saw Simon. They seized him and put that cross on his back.
None of this was by coincidence. Behind this act of compassion toward Jesus was the hand of the Father. God knew before Simon left the countryside what was in store for him. He chose him to carry the cross for His Son. Simon was completely unaware of this as he left for the city. The soldiers were ignorant of God’s leading as they went into the crowd to find a man to bear the cross to Calvary.
Simon was going about his regular duty. He had no interest in Jesus. He was passing by when his routine was interrupted. While to all human appearance, his plans were interrupted by Roman soldiers, there was something more than met the eye taking place. God was reaching out to Simon.
The Lord Jesus, speaking in John 15, said:
 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15)
Writing to the Colossians, the apostle Paul said:
[2:1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— (Colossians 2)
Just as those soldiers compelled Simon to take up the cross and follow Jesus, so the Spirit of God continues to compel those who have no interest in Christ to follow Him today. The apostle Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute those who followed the way of Christ when he met the Saviour. That day, the Lord compelled him to surrender, pick up his cross and follow him. Paul would never be the same again.
Simon plan for the day was changed. He was a disinterested person who met the Saviour on his way into the city of Jerusalem. This was not something he chose for himself. If it were up to him, he would have continued his way without hardly looking in Jesus’ direction. That was not the purpose of God for him, however. God met Simon in his indifference and made him part of one of the greatest events in human history.
Simon is a picture of you and me. We go through life hardly considering the Lord Jesus and the work He did. Like Simon passing by the Lord Jesus on the way to the cross, we too pass by without recognizing the significance of what took place that day. It is as if the crucifixion had nothing to do with us. Were it not for the work of God in compelling us to consider the cross; we would have continued our way without any understanding that the Saviour was going to that cross for us.
How many people around us are like Simon—indifferent to the Saviour and the cross He bore? How we need to thank the Lord that He meets us in our indifference. Simon is a picture of the grace of God in compelling the unbeliever to pick up their cross and follow Jesus.
What evidence do we have that Simon was not particularly interested in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus?
Does God compel us to pick up our cross and follow Him? If God did not compel us, would we have a chance of knowing Christ?
How is Simon a picture of the grace of God in revealing Himself to those who have no desire for Him?
Take a moment to thank the Lord that He reached out to us when we were not interested in Him.
Thank the Lord for how He orchestrated the events and circumstances that brought you to Himself.
Do you have friends or relatives who, like Simon, have no interest in the Lord and His work? Ask the Lord to reach out to them and compel them to look to Him.
Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell us that the soldiers “compelled” Simon to bear the cross of Jesus. While it is not clearly described here, historically, because the entire cross was so heavy, the condemned person would carry only the crossbeam to the site of the crucifixion.
In some cases, the condemned was forced to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A whole cross would weigh well over 135 kg (300 lb), but the crossbeam would not be as burdensome, weighing around 45 kg (100 lb). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion)
Since the weight of the entire cross was probably well over 300 lb. (136 kg), only the crossbar was carried. The crossbar, weighing 75 to 125 lb. (34 to 57 kg), was placed across the nape of the victim’s neck and balanced along both shoulders. Usually, the outstretched arms then were tied to the crossbar. (https://www.cbcg.org/scourging-crucifixion.html)
It would have been humiliating for the criminal to carry the cross on which he was to be crucified through the streets to the location of his death. The intention was to make the victim feel his defeat and helplessness. This only added to the cruelty and agony of the crucifixion.
John 19:17 tells us that as Jesus began the journey to Golgotha, He carried the cross. At some point in this journey, however, it was placed on the shoulders of Simon of Cyrene who took it the rest of the way.
When it came to the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, nothing was left by chance. Every detail is of utmost significance. I believe that the Lord had a purpose of Simon. He was God’s choice to carry the cross of Jesus the rest of the way. It is essential that we understand what is happening here.
While the soldiers did tie the cross to the Lord Jesus, it was Simon who would bring it to Calvary. This detail cannot go unnoticed. It was the guilty person who carried the cross. The guilty person, however, was not the Lord Jesus –it was Simon. Simon was the one who needed forgiveness.
Simon was not the only guilty person. He represented all of humanity. Remember that Simon was likely a Jew. He was also from the foreign land of Cyrene in Africa. Simon represented both the Jews and the foreigners of Africa and beyond. He represented you and me.
That day as Simon carried the cross of Jesus, the Father was telling the world that His Son was not the guilty party. The one who bore the cross was the one who needed to die. Simon carried that cross as a representative of Jews and foreigners. As the crowds looked at Simon, weighted down with the cross, they saw a picture of themselves. In that picture, they saw a sinful man bearing the burden of his sin. They saw the condemnation of God on humanity. God was showing them that they were the ones who deserved to carry this cross and bear its punishment.
Luke tells us that the cross was laid on Simon, and he was forced to carry it behind Jesus.
 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23)
Jesus led Simon to the place of execution. In doing so, the Father was showing us what we deserved. The penalty for sin is death. As Simon followed the Lord Jesus to Golgotha, he was experiencing first-hand what it was like to be sentenced to death. He must have felt something of the pain of Jesus as He prepared to lay Himself down on that cross.
The message of the gospel has sometimes been watered down to a point where the reality of sin and judgement is downplayed. We don’t like to tell people they are sinners deserving the wrath of God. The gospel we preach is a gospel of blessing and prosperity. We tell people to come to Christ and experience the good life. While we dare not question the wonderful benefits that are ours in the Lord Jesus, the reality of our guilt must never be ignored.
Until we understand our guilt, we will never grasp the fullness of the grace of Christ. We pause the scene for just a moment at the place where Simon is being led by Christ to the location of execution. The frame before us is one of Simon bearing the cross. He represents us all. Both Jew and foreigner were guilty before God. We deserved that cross. We stand on Golgotha’s hill with the weight of that burden on our shoulders understanding full well the judgement of God on our lives.
Have we identified with the death of Christ? Do we grasp the fact we deserved that cross? Do we understand the shame that was ours and the price we should have paid? Have we felt the weight of that cross beam on our shoulders? How easy it is for us to take our salvation for granted. May God give us a deeper understanding of our sin so that His grace may be magnified.
Why do you suppose God saw fit to call Simon to carry the cross of Jesus? How is he a picture of you and me?
How important is it for us to understand our sin and guilt before God? Has the church been faithful in preaching about sin?
Can we truly appreciate the grace of Christ if we do not understand our guilt?
Ask the Lord to give you a deeper appreciation of what He did for you in taking your place on the cross.
Ask God to give us as believers a greater awareness of sin and its effect on our lives.
In chapter 1, we spoke about the name Simon. The name is of Hebrew origin and is derived from the word which means “to hear.” The word from which the name originates is defined as follows:
שָׁמַע šāmaʼ, shaw-mah'; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention). (Strong James, S.T.D, LL.D., A Concise Dictionary of the words in the Hebrew Bible; with their renderings in the Authorized English Version, L A R I D I A N: Marion, Iowa, Electronic files Copyright © 2015 by Laridian, Inc. All Rights Reserved)
The idea is that the person who listens does so with the intention of doing something about what he or she hears. This hearing is not just about understanding words but about relieving pain and suffering or responding to the needs revealed in the words spoken.
When Leah gave her son the name Simeon, she did so in recognition that the Lord God had heard she was unloved. In Leah’s mind, when God gave her a son, He was doing so because He heard her need and reached out in compassion and mercy to address her pain.
Why is it essential that we consider the meaning and origin of Simon’s name in this context? Let’s pause the scene again and examine what is happening. Here before us is a man by the name of Simon. His name means, “he has heard.” This man is carrying the cross of Jesus as they move slowly toward the place of execution.
To all outward appearance, this is a picture of defeat. Jesus is about to die at the hands of Roman soldiers. The population of Jerusalem has largely rejected the message He came to preach. The religious leaders turned their back on Him and His claim to be the Messiah. They were responsible for His sentence of death. They stood by now rejoicing in what they saw as His ultimate defeat.
Unseen to the Jewish population and Roman officials, however, was a powerful sign from God. As Jesus made His way to the cross, he was followed by a man whose name meant, “he has heard.” Consider this for a moment. What was perceived by the human eye to be utter defeat was, in reality, God’s way of telling the world that He had heard their cries. He understood their need. As Simon, who represented the Jewish and foreign nations of the day followed Jesus to the cross, the Father was saying, “I understand your need, and I have heard.”
The word from which Simon’s name was derived spoke not just about hearing with the ear but also responding with compassion and mercy. The words, “he has heard” point us directly to Jesus. He was the response of the Father. The cries of the lost reached the ears of the Father, and in response, He gave His only Son to be the answer to the pain and lostness of the world.
To the Jews, Jesus was crucified because He declared Himself to be God. To the Romans, it was because He was a troublemaker. To the Father, however, it was because He had heard the cries of humanity lost in sin.
As Simon carried the cross, he was making a statement about Jesus. “He has heard our cry,” he declared. This Jesus that goes before me understands your need and has come to do something about it. He is going to die, not because of anything that He has done but because He wants to provide a solution to our separation from God. He comes to bring forgiveness and restoration. He comes to bring cleansing and healing. He comes because He has heard our cries of despair.
I don’t think that Simon understood the significance of his name as he followed the Lord Jesus to Golgotha. I don’t believe the crowds took notice either. There before them, however, was the word of the Lord to all who would take a moment to consider it.
In what appeared to be a time of great tragedy, the silent word spoke. The Father quietly declared His intention. In speaking through the name of Simon, the Father showed that He was still sovereign over the affairs of that day. The Romans were not in control. Silently working through what appeared to be a tragic end, was the hand of the Father, accomplishing His purpose.
As Jesus moved slowly toward the place where He would lay down His life, He brought Simon with Him. Simon, unknown to himself, spoke the prophetic word of God: “He has heard.” The father has heard, and this is the result. He has sent His Son to lay down His life as a perfect Lamb of God for the forgiveness of our sin. By selecting Simon to follow after His Son, the Father was declaring that He had a purpose in what He was doing. Through the work of His Son, the answer to generations of prayers would be revealed.
What does the name Simon mean? Why is it important in this context?
Not many people present that day would have understood the symbolism in the name of Simon. Why do you suppose God speaks silently in this way? Do you think we often miss what God is saying?
How did the word of God spoken through the name of Simon reveal that He was still in control of a situation that appeared to human eyes to be utter defeat?
Thank the Lord that He is in control of even what appears to be a tragedy in your life. Thank Him for the encouragement He brings to you in your need.
Thank the Lord that He does hear our cries and will respond in His way and time.
Ask God to open your eyes and ears to the encouragement He brings. Ask Him to give you eyes to see what He is doing in your situation.
We have seen how Simon of Cyrene represented the Jew and the foreigner. In this capacity, he carried the cross revealing to all that we were the guilty ones who deserved to die for our rebellion against the Lord Jesus, the Son of God.
Luke 23:26 tells us that as Simon walked that road to the place of execution, he carried the cross “behind Jesus.” Let’s pause for a moment and consider what must have been going through Simon’s mind. He was carrying a cross on the way to Golgotha. Under normal circumstances, this would have been a tremendously difficult thing to do. Many of those who carried the cross bore a tremendous emotional weight. This cross was a symbol of death and suffering to come. It was the end of life for the guilty criminal. As they looked ahead, the condemned were fully aware of their crimes and the terror of what lay before them. They would be lifted up for all to see. They would suffer great agony until their life faded away. People would mock and insulted them as they hung dying on that cruel cross. They were reduced to helplessness and despair in a very public way. The cross was designed to induce maximum discomfort and shame.
Let’s return to Simon of Cyrene. While carrying the cross was a very solemn matter for him, there was something very different in his case. He would not die on the cross he bore. This cross was for Jesus. The pain and agony would be born by the man who was leading him to Golgotha. Simon knew that when they arrived at Calvary, he would hand that cross over to the Lord Jesus.
Simon of Cyrene is a powerful symbol of what took place at the cross of Jesus. As a representative of both Jew and foreigner, Simon bore the cross of Jesus. While earthly officials had judged Jesus guilty, the Father also revealed His judgement that day. He had Simon bear the weight of the cross to Calvary. He showed those present that they were the guilty ones, not Jesus.
Simon does much more than reveal the judgement of God, however, he also shows the mercy and compassion of God in the Lord Jesus, His Son. When Simon arrived at Golgotha, he handed the cross over to Jesus. Jesus willingly laid His body on that cross for Simon as a representative of both Jew and foreigner. The death of Jesus was on our behalf. He paid the penalty that we should have paid.
A grand ceremony took place that day. As our representative, Simon laid the cross beam down on the ground and stepped back. Jesus was then laid down on the cross in Simon’s place. Soldiers drove nails through his wrists and feet, and He was lifted up for all to see.
As we look at the story from Simon’s perspective, it is not just about the decision of jealous leaders to kill Jesus to preserve their positions and way of life. It is about a substitutional death. It is about Jesus dying on our behalf. It is about the innocent party taking the place of the guilty. It is about the guilty being set free from the harshness of God’s judgement.
Simon of Cyrene was God’s way of presenting the message of the gospel. Hidden in the story of the cross of Christ is this powerful illustration of Simon. He was not just a passerby—He was the instrument of God to communicate to the world what Jesus did for us. He reminds us that God touches those who have no interest in Him and compels them to follow His Son. He is an encouragement to those of us with unsaved loved ones. Simon is also a reminder to us that God is the One who hears our cry. He shows us that God does take our need seriously and will respond in blessing at His time. It is a call to faith in the God who hears.
Finally, Simon teaches us about the substitutionary death of Christ. Jesus died in our place. There is no question that we were guilty before God. Like Simon, we bore the weight of the cross on our shoulders. We were already heading for the place of crucifixion, where we would suffer the judgement of God for sin and rebellion. Like Simon, however, we handed that judgement over to the Lord Jesus. There before Him, we stood, with the cross beam on our shoulders, as guilty sinners condemned and sentenced to death. As we approach Christ, however, we hear the call to lay down the burden of the cross, place it at His feet, and step back. As we step back, fully aware of our guilt, we watch the Lord Jesus walk over to that cross and lay Himself on it in our place. He took all the pain and agony. He paid the price that I should have paid. My sentence has been carried out. My penalty has been paid. I am free from the guilt and shame I bore. Jesus took it all on Himself.
Do you recognize that you have fallen short of God’s standard? Do you accept the fact that you have been judged to be a sinner? Will you pick up your cross accepting this guilt before God? Will you, fully admitting your sin, bring your shame to Jesus and lay it at his feet, confessing your failure and rebellion to Him? Will you then leave that guilt with Him? Will you confess today that Jesus laid down His life for you on that cross? Can you now walk in victory over your sentence, praising and devoting yourself to Him who took your place? May God give each reader the grace to accept this mighty and merciful work of Christ on our behalf.
Do you feel that Simon was a random choice of the soldiers or God’s instrument for a particular purpose? Explain.
How does Simon illustrate the message of the Gospel?
What is the difference between how the world saw the crucifixion and how God saw it as illustrated in Simon?
Have you come to Christ with your sin? Have you cast your judgement on Him?
Thank the Lord Jesus for taking on your punishment. Ask Him to help you to live now as one who has been pardoned and freed from the burden of sin.
Thank the Lord that nothing happens by chance. Thank Him that He is in every detail of your life. Even passersby like Simon have a purpose in the heart of God.
If you have never understood the purpose of the cross of Jesus, take a moment now to open your heart to His work on your behalf. Recognize your sin and the need for forgiveness. Come to the Lord Jesus with your guilt and ask Him to forgive.
Light To My Path Book Distribution (LTMP) is a book writing and distribution ministry reaching out to needy Christian workers in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Many Christian workers in developing countries do not have the resources necessary to obtain Bible training or purchase Bible study materials for their ministries and personal encouragement. F. Wayne Mac Leod is a member of Action International Ministries and has been writing these books with a goal to distribute them freely or at cost price to needy pastors and Christian workers around the world.
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