Friday, February 22, 2013
Philemon, Chapter 1: A message from your bowels
Paul is still in prison, or back in prison, it's not clear. Having a lot of time on his hands, he sends a letter to Philemon and Apphia and Archippus, who run a church out of Philemon's living room. Anyway, Paul really likes them, to the point where the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother (v. 7). He's writing because he's found Philemon's lost slave, Onesimus, who, it would seem, robbed his master and ran off, where he was unfortunate enough to encounter Paul. He has become a Christian, and as a reward, Paul is now sending him back to slavery. However, he urges Philemon to treat him kindly when he returns. Paul promises to repay Onesimus' debts, even though Philemon owes Paul for saving his soul. What he completely neglects to do in the letter though, is condemn slavery, as it might piss off one of his rich donors.