This post is Day 14 in a series of studies about “Philemon”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.

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Philemon – Day 14

Philemon 15-16

Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

The Thought

Paul continued his appeal on behalf of Onesimus, trying to reason with Philemon. I must point out that this very short letter is not a teaching message or information about how to run a church. It is not a reprimand, or a criticism. It is plainly a request for the re-instating of Onesimus in his old job, or at least into the Christian community in Colossae.

Onesimus is only mentioned one other time in the New Testament. Towards the end of the letter to the Colossian church, which it is believed held meetings in Philemon’s house. In that letter we read: Tychicus will tell you news about me, … He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother who is one of you (Colossians 4:9).

We get the impression that Onesimus had served Paul during a reasonable period of time. The life change that Jesus had obviously brought about in this former slave is a message to all who read this short epistle. No matter how low your status is or has been, no matter how poor you are or have been, giving your life to Jesus can bring about huge changes.

Nothing is too hard for Jesus, as long as we give Him freedom to do what He wants to do in us.


Praise God today for the personality changes we read about in the Bible. Paul for one (Acts 9), Mary Magdalen is another (Luke 8:2), and Lazarus (John 10:43).

Read the story of Lazarus today, and imagine how his life changed after 4 days in the tomb! Praise God that through Him, ANYTHING is possible.

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