We now read verse 8-16
v8: “Therefore” – ie in light of what has just been said (in v1-7): Paul is writing in a way that would put a lot of pressure on Philemon to do the right thing.
· Bold – can also be understood as confident. Paul and Timothy are appealing to Philemon to act in a right way – not acting from a place of being commanded to do something, but to do it rather from a place of love (both love and command get the ‘job’ done, but the far higher way is to get it done from a place of love).
v9: Rather: Paul is making a request from a place of preference.
· ‘Paul the aged is probably better translated “Paul the elder” here. Paul didn’t use title or “pull rank” much but here we see him reminding Philemon that he is speaking from a place of authority. He is a senior and had a lot of experience by this time.
· Even though Paul was a leader Paul also wanted Philemon to know that he was a suffering one. G-d has called us to a life of sacrifice – doing the right thing for G-d no matter what the consequences are.
v10: Appeal: Exhort, beseech.
· Son – a familial connection. Paul feels paternal toward Onesimus.
· It seems as if Onesimus had contact with Paul while Paul was in prison, and Paul led him to faith. Now he is seen as no longer a slave but as a brother/son. Faith brings a significant change in our relationships to others.
v11: Once Onesimus was a negative “experience” for Philemon BUT NOW – there has been a change and this change changes everything. There is a need to see others differently.
v12: Some commentators say Onesimus is the one who is carrying this letter back to Philemon as he returns to Philemon.
· Receive him – the word used here implies that Philemon must draw Onesimus close to him – why? Because he has now become useful.
· My own heart – This shows that Paul has strong emotion for Onesimus.
Paul is wanting Philemon to invest in Onesimus, as Onesimus now has the potential to be an asset in Philemon life.
v13: Paul wanted to keep Onesimus with him, as he would have been a great asset to Paul if he had stayed with Paul.
v14: Paul didn’t want to keep Onesimus without Philemon’s consent or knowledge.
· Compulsion – forced to do something
· If Onesimus was going to serve Paul, Paul wanted it to be from a voluntary position on Philemon’s part and not due to feeling forced to give Onesimus up.
v15: Receive him forever – meaning: Onesimus and Philemon are going to be brothers in the Kingdom eternally, so they might as well restart this relationship properly right now!
v16: Here we see that Onesimus had been Philemon’s slave.
· Paul appeals to Philemon to accept Onesimus back – not as a slave but as a brother, as Onesimus is a new creation in Messiah Yeshua.
· If Paul sees Onesimus as a brother how much more so should Philemon…
· In the flesh: Onesimus would be able to help Philemon with earthly things
· But would also be a help to Philemon in spiritual things (‘in the L-rd’)