SIMON THE CANANEAN, APOSTLE
Luke 6:15 presents Simon as Simon the Zealot and Matthew 10:4 and Mark 3:18 name him Simon the Cananean. Cananean did not mean that he was from the original inhabitants of Canaan. In Hebrew, Cananean is the equivalent of Zealot in Greek. He must be a member of the Zealot group before joining as a disciple of Jesus.
The Zealots were a group of revolutionaries organized against the Roman rule. Their hatred of Rome later led to a fight against Romans and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Unlike Matthew, who was pro-Roman, Simon was anti-Roman. Jesus selected both with opposing views in his band and made them people of true faith. Simon worked, suffered, and died for the true Kingdom of God that Jesus established.
According to tradition, Simon preached on the west coast of Africa, and then moved to England, where he was crucified in 74 AD. Others say he, after preaching in Egypt, accompanied Jude to Persia and was martyred in Edessa in 67 AD.
Since the Pagan rulers were obstacles to the worship of the True God, Simeon joined the Zealots with his ardent desire to establish God’s kingdom. However, Simon later realized Jesus as the Son of David, who established the spiritual kingdom of God that would liberate the Christians from the bondage of Satan. So, he joined the band of Jesus and became a spiritual warrior for Jesus and his church. Like Simon, let us work with the church Jesus established as his kingdom on earth.