Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good- 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 man and as a brother in the Lord. – Philemon 1:15-16 (NIV)

In a day when slavery was a major industry, Paul challenges Philemon to look at his slave, Onesimus, in a radical new way. Onesimus left as a slave, but Paul wants him to return as a brother. When one looks at Biblical teaching we find a message of freedom from bondage, of liberty from prisons, and the restoring of dignity. Don’t let the abuses of history blur the pure message of Scripture – we belong to Christ, and all of us are heirs to the promises of God.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

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