Philemon part 1


Onesimus was a household slave of Philemon, and ran away. If you are a runaway slave in the 1st century where would you go to hide? Rome. It’s easier to become anonymous in a big city (1 million people in the first century). However, in some providential coincidence Onesimus runs into Paul. We can only guess how this may have happened. Perhaps he felt guilty over his actions, and he had heard of Paul and knew of his connection to his master. Whatever the case, Onesimus meets Paul and apparently converts to the Christian faith as a result. He then becomes a great consolation to Paul and begins to minister him while in prison.

Paul feels the need to reconcile Onesimus and Philemon. Philemon was part of his responsibility as an apostle and he could not ignore this event. So Paul crafts a letter of reconciliation to be sent along with Onesimus and others when he sends his other prison letters throughout the Mediterranean.

I. Introduction

1 PAUL, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, 2 to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

- These three, Philemon (the priest or bishop of the Church); Apphia (probably Philemon’s wife); Archippus (their son, and possible deacon)

II. Thanksgiving.

4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers,5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.

- Paul thanks God because of their faith.

- There is high praise here; Philemon is a man of love and faith not just to God but to people. This is characteristically Christian. One can not love God and not love man.

- vs. 6. His life makes his sharing of the Christian faith more effective; “by this men may know that you are my disciples, that you love one another”;

- Philemon is an encouragement and edifier to those Christians under his ministry.

- How do you think Paul knew this report about Philemon? Possibly from Onesimus.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is Theistic Evolution Orthodox?

First Post

The Spiritual Condition of Infants (a review)