Today we spent time reading, studying, and discussing the entire book of Philemon (yes, all 25 verses!). We marked any reference to Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus in our Bible. This helped Scripture "pop" off the pages, and we could clearly see different information about all three of these men.
As a group we worked through this, and found:
• We learned that there are three main characters in the book (Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus).
• We discussed the role that God, Jesus, and we play as characters in this story (God is like Philemon....a just judge who has the power to punish or forgive..... Jesus is like Paul, one who has paid for our sins and is our propitiation..... and we are like Onesimus, a people who runaway from God by our actions).
o Was in prison (for Christ’s sake…probably for sharing the gospel and not denying Christ) when he wrote the letter
o Was a spiritual father to Philemon and Onesimus
o Prays for Philemon and praises God for his faith
o Is an old man
o Is bold for Christ
o Is appealing to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus
o Has ordered Onesimus to return to Philemon
o Will repay Philemon for anything Onesimus owes Philemon
o Slave owner (of Onesimus)
o Is a beloved worker and has a house church
o Has love and faith toward Jesus and all the saints
o Shares his faith
o Is owed something from Onesimus
o “rightfully” can punish Onesimus for running away (with death, torture, or branding)
o Is spiritual child of Paul
o Came to Christ, through Paul, while Paul was in prison (after running away from Philemon)
o Is going back to Philemon
o Owes something to Philemon