This post is Day 21 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 21
Paul closes his letter with these verses and he is sending greetings from those who are with him, either in prison or visiting him regularly. Wherever Paul went he had fellow workers. Jesus sent out His disciples two by two. Paul constantly had other believers around him wherever he went.
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Paul closes his letter with these verses and he is sending greetings from those who are with him, either in prison or visiting him regularly. Wherever Paul went he seemed to have “fellow workers”. Nowhere in the Bible do we get the idea that we should work alone. Jesus sent out His disciples two by two (Matthew 10). Paul seemed constantly to have other believers around him wherever he went.
The theme of his letter to Philemon is radical forgiveness, something Paul understood because he had received the same from The Lord at the time of his dramatic conversion (Acts 9:1-19).
To go against the norm is the main encouragement to the reader. Normally a runaway slave would NEVER be re-instated, but that didn’t deter Paul’s request to Philemon because Paul himself had seen that the changes in Onesimus were real.
Then the last wish for Philemon is that grace be with his reader. We looked at that on day 3 of this study.
We have no confirmation that Philemon agreed to Paul’s request. But historians tell us that there was a Bishop Ignatius in Antioch who wrote a letter to Bishop Onesimus in Ephesus about the year 110 AD so many suppose that the converted runaway continued in following the Lord.
Read through Paul’s letter to Philemon once more today, preferably in a different version to the one you read regularly. Be encouraged to live in that attitude of forgiveness and to pray continually.
The Bible has much to say about forgiveness, so we will look together at other verses following that theme for the rest of this month.
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