The “Songs of the Deliverer” series tells the story of Christ and the Apostles re-imagined in modern day. It is a work of fiction but the stories and characters are based on the New Testament. These Reflections feature Biblical verses referenced in the second book, Faith Wins.
Referenced in Chapter 19
How do you feel when you’re being besieged by other people? When they think you’ve done something wrong or even criminal and they make you suffer for what you’ve done. You’re punished by being battered and confined. You feel trapped, isolated. You wonder and you beg, will anyone do anything to help me?
That’s true of most people, I suspect. But it wasn’t true of the Apostle Paul. When he was beaten and then imprisoned, he put others ahead of his own wellbeing.
Paul writes to a friend, Philemon describing himself as “an old man and now a prisoner.” This is at a time when Paul likely knew his time on earth was coming to an end. Yet, he did not ask anything for himself. Rather, he asked for someone who, according to the customs of that day, was unworthy of any consideration whatsoever. He asked a favor for Onesimus:
“I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment.” (Philemon 1:10)
Who was this person that Paul put ahead of himself? A bondservant, a slave:
“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.” (Philemon 1:15)
Paul thought of one whom others in society thought to be totally unworthy. Even more, he offered to pay back any debt this slave may owe:
“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.” (Philemon 1:17 – 19)
Why would Paul, a recognized leader, eschew personal indulgences to help someone of such low status? Because through Jesus Christ, we are all one in the same, brothers and sisters in faith:
“A beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. (Philemon 1:15)
Paul asked Philemon to help Onesimus for one reason – because they are joined by faith as family. Here is how Paul described it in an earlier letter to the people of Galatia:
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26 – 28).
We are all one in Christ.
Here is link to the book on Amazon: Songs of the Deliverer II – Faith Wins
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