Philemon (03) - The Appeal to an Enslaver
Paul’s Appeal vv 8-11 (GS trans.)
Therefore, while I have enough authority in King Jesus to command you to do what you ought, 9 rather, in God’s love instead I appeal to you - since it is me, Paul, the Presbyter, even now a prisoner of the King. 10 I appeal to you to for the sake of my child (in the faith) Onesimus whom I have fathered in the faith even in prison. 11 He was unprofitable as a servant to you, but now is profitable for both you and me.
Paul’s Assignment vv 12-14
12 I have given him a mission to go back to you in person, sending my very heart with him. 13 I wished to keep him with me so he would continue to serve me in my imprisonment for the announcement of the gospel (of the King). 14 But without your consent I did not want to “enslave" him for myself. Rather, so that your good actions would not be due to any compulsion but be of your own voluntary action (I am making appeal rather than command you).
Paul’s Application vv 15-16
15 For it may be that he was for this very reason separated from you temporarily, that you would have him back eternally, 16 no longer as a slave, but far better than a bondservant, a brother, beloved — which he is exceedingly to me — how much more (should he be) to you also, both in body and in the (body of the) Lord
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more