Thanksgiving and Prayer
Paul’s Plea for Onesimus
- He is not asking Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a slave, but to welcome him as a brother.
- John Piper: “…without explicitly prohibiting slavery, Paul has pointed the church away from slavery because it is an institution which is incompatible with the way the gospel works in people’s lives. Whether the slavery is economic, racial, sexual, mild, or brutal, Paul’s way of dealing with Philemon works to undermine the institution across its various manifestations. To walk “in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14) is to walk away from slavery.”
- Can you identify with either Philemon or Onesimus? In what way?
- Do you have a relationship that needs restoration? Do you need to forgive or be forgiven?
- Paul shows Philemon how slavery is incompatible with the message of Jesus. How can this Gospel (good news) change the way we view other norms in our society?