9 Oct. Philemon 1:1-7

9 Oct. Paul writes a personal note about Onesimus 

“From Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, our brother.
To Philemon, our dear brother and worker with us; to Apphia, our sister; to Archippus, a worker with us; and to the church that meets in your home.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, because I hear about the love you have for all God’s holy people and the faith you have in the Lord Jesus.”

“I pray that the faith you share may make you understand every blessing we have in Christ. I have great joy and comfort, my brother, because the love you have shown to God’s people has refreshed them.”

          (Philemon 1:1-7)



This brief personal note was written to Philemon – a prominent member of the church at Colossae. He was wealthy, with a large house and servants. Philemon was also one of Paul’s fellow-workers, and the church at Colossae met in his home.

The note was written in c.61AD while Paul was under house arrest in Rome. It was taken from Rome to Colossae by Tychicus at the same time as the Letter to the Colossians (see Colossians 4:7-8), the Letter to the Ephesians (see Ephesians 6:21-22), and probably also a letter to the Laodiceans which has not survived (see Colossians 4:16).

Tychicus was accompanied by Onesimus, the Christian slave on whose behalf Paul wrote this letter to Philemon (see Colossians 4:9 & Philemon 1:10-12).

Onesimus had probably travelled from Colossae to Rome some time earlier with Epaphras, the founder of the Colossian church (see Colossians 1:7 & 4:12-13). He had matured as a Christian under Paul’s spiritual guidance and Paul decided he should return to his master, Philemon, in Colossae.

Onesimus is sometimes referred to by commentators as “the runaway slave”, but there is nothing in Paul’s letter to suggest that Onesimus had run away from Philemon. In reality, he was probably a trusted slave who had been sent to help Epaphras and Paul.

In his letter, Paul asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus for any wrong he may have done in the past and to accept him back, not just as a slave, but as a Christian brother.

Paul begins his letter by sending greetings from himself and from Timothy, who is with Paul in Rome. He sends greetings to Philemon and his household – to Apphia (a Christian sister – probably Philemon’s wife) and to another fellow-worker, Archippus – who may have lodged with Philemon and his family, or could even have been his son (see Colossians 4:17). He thanks God for Philemon and for the joy he has brought to the believers.

The photo shows the Arch of Septimius Severus, in Rome, from where Paul was writing to Philemon.

You can read more from Paul’s Letter to Philemon @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/pauls-letter-to-philemon…/

Printer Printable Version