“I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.”

Philemon, v. 10
Onesimus met Paul while Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Perhaps the Roman believers enlisted him to deliver some food or clothing to Paul. However they met, we can be sure that Paul eagerly talked with Onesimus about Jesus.

Apparently Onesimus, a slave, had run away from his owner, Philemon. It seems he may have stolen something from him (see v. 18-19). After becoming friends with Paul and accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior, Onesimus willingly and humbly returned to Philemon. Paul asked Philemon to accept him as a brother in Christ, not as a slave, even offering to pay for anything Onesimus owed him.

Clearly Onesimus was deeply affected by his relationship with Paul and—more importantly—with Christ. He lived out his new faith by making whatever amends Philemon might request.

Onesimus’ status in his world was not particularly notable. Neither is yours or mine as sinful people. But Jesus radically changes our lives. He makes us new creations (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) so we no longer are slaves to sin, but are wholly devoted to Him.

Scripture Focus

Philemon, v. 8-21


When we need to make amends to someone, we can ask the Lord to give us courage. “The LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9b).

Bible In A Year

  • Exodus 9-10
  • Psalm 30
  • Mark 10