Friday, April 17, 2015


“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.” Philemon 10-11 (NIV)

You’re probably thinking, “What a strange choice for the letter O, who is this Onesimus?” Well, I’m glad you asked. We are introduced to this man in the short book of Philemon. There is not much written about him, but there is enough to piece together some of his story. We know that he was Philemon’s slave and he ran away. Then he met Paul, who was in prison at the time, and he became a Christian. The notes in my Bible say that Onesimus’ name means useful, and it appears he was very useful to Paul. Knowing that it was right for Onesimus to return to his master, Paul sent his new helper back with a plea to Philemon. Paul had also led Philemon to Christ, so he said that they were no longer master and slave, but brothers in Christ. Paul’s plea was that Philemon would be willing to forgive Onesimus instead of flogging or even killing him as was the custom. Paul even offered to pay any debt Onesimus had accumulated. Some scholars* believe that Paul was also subtly hinting that he wanted Philemon to be freed from slavery so that he could further assist Paul. I enjoy this story because it’s a basic example of what forgiveness and brotherly kindness look like. It shows that we are all in unity with Christ. “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26, 28 (NIV)

 *Source- Holman, Illustrated Bible Handbook

I am currently participating in the Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge. My theme is life lessons from the Bible. You can find more information about the challenge by clicking on the badge to the right or click here for a list of participants. It has been an interesting experience so far and I have enjoyed finding and visiting other blogs. If you are a fellow participant, thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. I think you brought up a good point that perhaps Paul wanted Philemon to forgive Onesimus like we should forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us.



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