“For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.” (Philemon 1:15-19)
Reconciliation. If there is any word that sums up the book of Philemon it’s that one. Paul is writing to a fellow believer in Philemon in hopes that there will be reconciliation between Philemon and Onesimus. Paul knows (and wants Philemon to know) that it is important in the life of a believer that there is peace among other believers.
Onesimus was a slave of Philemon’s who ran away and ended up in Rome where he heard the gospel preached by Paul and became a Christian. As much as Paul would’ve loved to have Onesimus stay with him in Rome, he knew that Onesimus needed to go back to Colosse and reconcile with Philemon. Paul also knew that Philemon needed to receive Onesimus not as a slave but as a brother in Christ. Philemon needed to do the right thing and Paul trusted that Philemon would do that.
Reconciliation is important in the life of a Christian today. We need to be reconciled to God and we need to be reconciled to fellow believers. We are only able to do that because of Jesus. When we do reconcile, our relationships are restored and we’re able to follow Jesus better. This week, let us seek to restore our relationships with God and with one another.