Today is day 88 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
1 chapter? That’s it? It’s short and sweet but the tiny of letter to Philemon packs a punch!
Philemon is a pastor who has a church meeting in his house most likely. Years ago, he owned a slave named Onesimus. Onesimus (which means “profitable”) didn’t know Jesus and became very unprofitable to Philemon. We don’t know the extent of what he did but it appears as though he may have stolen some things, and we know he ran away.
No matter where or how far we run, God knows right where we are and He has His ways of arranging circumstances as He pursues us. It’s no coincidence that Onesimus ends up in prison right next to Paul the Apostle, who of course leads him to Christ (because that’s what Paul does)! Suddenly, faced with his sin in the past and a new life in Christ, Paul urges Onesimus to return home to Philemon to make things right.
That is one of the beauties of the Gospel. We were once running from our past in shame and guilt. Then Jesus stepped in and everything changed. The power of Christ working in our lives and making everything new enables us to face with confidence who we were and understand that that’s not who we are.
The most powerful verse in this short letter is definitely verse 18…
“If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.” – Philemon 18
It’s a beautiful picture of the gospel – Jesus reconciles and pays for the damage that was done when we were slaves ourselves, running from Him, unprofitable to ourselves, others, and to the Lord Himself.
In the end, Mr. Profitable became profitable to Paul, but soon to Philemon! It’s amazing how the Gospel can turn lives around and make them worth something!