Relationships in Messianic Time: A Commentary on Philemon
What is Paul’s letter to Philemon about? Was Onesimus a runaway slave? Or had Philemon sent Onesimus to Paul? Did Paul want Philemon to set Onesimus free? This commentary attempts to show that the usual questions about Onesimus are not the focus of the text itself. Instead, Paul was concerned about Philemon’s acceptance of Onesimus as a brother in the Lord. This acceptance, made possible by the transforming work of Christ in both men and by Paul’s modelling of Christian love, respected the socio-cultural positions of each man but at the same time acknowledged that these positions were now reconfigured by their Christian identity.