Philemon 1: 8-21

Therefore, although, in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul–an old man and now a prisoner of Christ Jesus–I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

I am sending him–who is my very heart–back to you. I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced. Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good–no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.

So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back–not to mention that you owe me your very self. I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the┬áLord; refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

A Thought

Onesimus, a runaway slave who was owned by Philemon, had received the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of Paul while he was in prison. Paul is now sending Onesimus back to face any charges Philemon might have against him along with this letter from Paul interceding on his behalf. Paul states that he will be responsible for any repayment due Philemon. Paul also asks for his owner to now receive him as a dear brother in Christ, not as a worthless slave.

What a beautiful painted picture of our life as a slave to sin and our advocate Jesus Christ the righteous, who will carry the burden of our sin when we submit to him in repentance. After we accept Christ, sometimes we have to make things right with the ones we have sinned against so nothing will interfere with our relationship with Christ.

Our Prayer

Father help us to consider the cost of our sin to others and also to ourselves. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ to pay the price of all sin and sickness. We humble ourselves before you knowing that you are our only hope. We no longer have to be a slave to sin. Forgive us we ask. We want nothing to separate us from your love and mercy, in Jesus’ name, amen.