Philemon 1 (New International
The Book of Philemon is a book unexplored by some, and overlooked by others. What is the difference?
To be unexplored means to be aware of The Book of Philemon but unwilling to invest time and patience into reading and understanding it. To be overlooked means sifting through the Books of the Bible and disregarding this small treasure just because it is so small. Or is it?
Great insights can be gained from few words. The Book of Philemon gives us a glimpse into the mind of Paul, but especially into his nurturing personality. Paul’s personality is like that of the mother hen who gathers her baby chicks underneath her wings. He is a teacher, philosopher, and a mighty preacher of GOD–but Paul is also a loving parent. His bold approach toward those he has mentored, counseled, and guided is to feel free to call back favors, thus ensuring that the right actions will come forth. Paul is a force to be reckoned with, and his strong leadership skills are what GOD has put to use in Paul to lead his church in the right direction. Paul is fighting here for his new convert to be received back into the arms of his former master. He values those who have already come to Christ, and he also values those who are new and fresh in GOD’s Spirit.
We can take Paul’s example as we minister to GOD’s people. We need to be holy bold to call people to accountability in the faith. Without their cooperation, the new converts will not get fed or encouraged in GOD’s Kingdom. Charlene
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3 Grace and peace to you[a] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving and Prayer
4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Paul’s Plea for Onesimus 8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[b] who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 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. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 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 fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
- Philemon 1:3 The Greek is plural; also in verses 22 and 25; elsewhere in this letter “you” is singular.
- Philemon 1:10 Onesimus means useful.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica