Last night I was feeling ambitious, so I read a whole book of the Bible–Philemon. It’s a whopping twenty-five verses. Here’s what I think you should know about it:
Verses 1-7 are a typical opening to Paul’s letters. It is worth noting that this is a personal letter. Only 3 other personal letters can be found in the New Testament Canon. (1&2 Timothy, Titus)
- The central part of the letter is about how to handle Onesimus. To steal a line from a friend of mine, it’s about forgiven sinners learning to forgive sin. That is, for forgiveness to be genuine, it has to pass through us, not just come to us. See, forgiveness comes with a divine redundancy. That’s what my friend says. And that’s what Paul is saying in this letter to Philemon. Treat Onesimus right, forgive him, accept him, build a newfound Christ-centered relationship with him.
In verse 21-22 Paul tells Philemon to prepare to receive him. The last three verses include some closing greetings.
And that’s all folks.