We Proclaim Jesus.
Jesus in Philemon
By Joseph Ametepe
GOD BLESS YOU.
The Epistle to Philemon along with Colossians, Ephesians, and Philippians are known as the Prison Epistles. This is because they were written by Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, during his first Roman imprisonment (see Acts 28:16-31). It was written sometime between A. D. 60-62. The Epistle to Philemon is described by author Ernest Renan as: "A true little masterpiece in the art of letter-writing." However, Martin Luther, the reformer saw it as a perfect illustration of the doctrine of "imputation." He wrote: "Here we see how St. Paul lays himself out for the poor Onesimus, and with all his means pleads his cause with his master: and so sets himself as if he were Onesimus, and had himself down wrong to Philemon. Even as Christ did for us with God the Father, thus also St. Paul does for Onesimus with Philemon....We are all His Onesimi, to my thinking."
The epistle is a personal letter from the heart of apostle Paul to a personal friend, Philemon, in Colossae. The primary purpose of this letter is to reveal Christ's love for believers in what He did for us in pleading our case before God as illustrated by Paul's intercession in behalf of Onesimus. One of the most powerful teachings preserved in this letter is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The title "Lord" appears five times in the letter. Most of them (if not all of them) points directly to Jesus Christ. As you study Philemon, you will be confronted with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You would need to ask yourself: "Am I submitting every area of my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Is Jesus really in control of my heart, my will, my emotion, and my intellect?" The Letter also affirms the Deity of Jesus Christ. He is presented as being equal with God the Father in bestowing divine grace and peace on all believers.
Commentator William MacDonald wrote: "It would be blasphemy to give such honor to Christ if He were not truly and fully God." Philemon shows that Jesus works through like-minded believers in the building of His Church. Also the epistle presents Jesus Christ as the believer's true object of love and faith. It is therefore important for us to see Jesus as He is revealed in Philemon, Lord, truly and fully God, Intercessor, the Builder of the Church, and the believer's true object of love and faith. "Open our eyes, O Gracious Father, we want to see Jesus as Lord, truly and fully God. May we know Him better, and make Him known," is our prayer!
Jesus in Philemon