Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Slaves and Brothers

A long long time ago,. there was this rich man who was a strong Christian. He owned several slaves, which sounds terrible to us, but was a completely acceptable practice in this time period and in his culture. Since he was a Godly man, his slaves were treated as if they were part of the family.
They were still, however, slaves.

One of this man's most trusted slaves yearned for freedom.
This man valued his freedom more than his life so he began to plan an escape to another country. To finance the getaway, he stole something very valuable from his master and fled with haste to a nearby country.
He chose this country because there were people there who had shown him love in the past.
Back home, the Godly slave owner was furious about the stolen property but also hurt because of his slave's abandonment.

In the new country, the slave met up with his friends from the past who gave him food, shelter and then taught him the way of salvation.
The slave became a new follower of Christ.

The slave's name was Onesimus.
The friend who led him to Christ was the Apostle Paul.
The slave owner was Philemon.

This book of the Bible is on my study list list this month and I have enjoyed reading Philemon as a human story.

Paul interceded for the slave, asking Philemon to take Onesimus back, not as a slave, but as a brother. Paul wrote his friend back in Colossus,..."Dear Philemon,...Love this man and forgive him everything. I will repay for anything Onesimus owes you".

The short book stops without describing the details of the reunion between Onesimus and Philemon. But we really don't need them because we have the idea.

We are reminded that Jesus interceded for us in the same way that Paul did for Onesimus.
He paid our debt in full.
We are also reminded that even though we meet others daily who are different in our professions, finances and appearances. we are all in two classifications:
We are either slaves,..or freed slaves.

No comments: