Col. 4:9. With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

Onesimus with Paul

Onesimus was to travel with Tychicus to take news of Paul to the churches in Colosse. He has quite a story of his own, which I’m considering making my next study. We’ll see.

Onesimus was an escaped slave. He belonged to a believer named Philemon. Paul had counseled him to return, and that’s the core of his story.

Paul calls Onesimus a faithful and beloved brother, one of you.

Clearly, Paul expected Onesimus to be received with the same hospitality as Tychicus would receive, and to be recognized as a fellow believer. Some believe that Paul condoned slavery. He did not. In Galatians 3:28 he wrote, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

In God’s eyes, each person’s soul is of the same value as the next. Paul does tell us in Titus 3:1,”Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.” There are several other New Testament passages that tell us we are to obey those who have the rule or authority over us.

This is a difficult concept for us, because most believers abhor the idea that one man can own another. It is certainly not a new idea, and it was accepted as normal in Bible times, although God never gives it His stamp of approval.

Paul wanted the believers in Colosse to NOT see Onesimus as “just a slave,” but as an equal in his status as a fellow believer.

2 thoughts on “Onesimus

  1. In the fall of 2019 I launched a study of all of the one chapter books of the Bible. My class enjoyed the newness of the weekly discussions because it was fresh, something new. Perhaps that could be something you night want to do on your blog. Just a thought. Anyhow, when I completed Philemon, I did an entire discussion on the subject of slavery. I had such good interactipm from the group. My springboard of thought came from “God Questions” which I found very helpful. Just a thought I am passing along.

    Liked by 1 person

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