January 16,2017/The Slave Who Returned

Slavery has been around for far too long and its tolerance should be a thorn in the heart of all Christians–for if we confess that Jesus came to free us, how then can we possibly allow for any talk or practice that adheres in any manner or form of slavery?

Perhaps, that is why takes such a stand when he is faced with the delicate situation dealing with slaver.

Philemon 1: 8-19-Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, Yet for love’s sake, I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beeseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be asit were of necessity but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account: I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it; albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

It seems Onesimus was a run-away slave who was the property of Philemon, a well-to-do citizen of Colosse. Having met Paul when they were imprisoned, he became a follower of Jesus Christ. Note how Paul decides to approach this situation. He admits that Onesimus has in some way wronged Philemon, but begs Philemon to understand that in Onesimus’ new relation to Jesus he has become a new person who should be received now not as a SLAVE, but as a fellow servant to the Lord. A BROTHER, who now understands that humanity is in a state of sin and, as Christ has forgiven us, so should Philemon forgive Onesimus. What is more, Paul declares that whatever wrong Onesimus has done to Philemon should now be put onto Paul’s account and that HE will repay it.

While slavery was an accepted practice in these times, Paul goes to great lengths to remind this well-t0-do person that there is a new law..that of love; that of brotherhood; that none of us are righteousness.

It is hoped that Phiemon recognizes his OWN sin when faced with his returning servant Onesimus…for if doesn’t he will surely be held accountabe not just by Paul, but by God when he is faced with judgment.

Humans have many factors of appearance–white skin, black skin, olive skin, slanted eyes, red hair, brown hair, black hair, blonde hair, curly hair, petite frames, tall frames, large bodies, small bodies, etc.

One fact remains—we all BLEED red. Would that we would all remember that we are all bound together in slavery to sin. Only through the dying blood of Christ and His resurrection can we truly break our bonds of this slavery…but we must speak out in love to one another and in brotherhood to all.


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