There are books of the Bible that we sometimes skip or ignore, without knowing that they are filled with great lessons for us today. The little book of Philemon has only one chapter, but it is a masterpiece of grace and a profound demonstration of the power of Christ but also of true fellowship in action. Let me recall what happens in this book: Onesimus was Philemon’s slave and he ran away from Colosse where he lived… with his master. But Apostle Paul met up with Onesimus in Rome while Onesimus had become a follower of Christ, so much that he could count on him when sending news to the Colossians (Colossians 4:9).
You see, the story of Onesimus is initially that of a runaway slave. But towards the end, it is that of a brother redeemed by Christ. It therefore represents someone who ran away from an authority God had placed before him or her or someone who flees from an uncomfortable or undesirable situation. My brother, sister, Jesus did not flee from the cross, He remained to the end. Moreover, God must have a special love for runaways: from Adam and Eve’s attempt to hide from Him, through Jacob’s escape from his brother, past generations of God’s people on the run to that inner circle of disciples who fled from the garden when Jesus was captured, The Bible is full of people who were runaways. But God’s special love for runaways is beautifully illustrated in the life of a slave named Onesimus as we see here. However, what this book as well as all the other stories of runaways teach us is that, when the Lord finds runaways, He often sends them back to the very places and people or the situations they ran away in the first place.
My friend, as Jesus became real in your life, how has your past come into new perspective? You see, throughout the Bible we see that no runaway person remained errand: all returned to the very places they left one day once they had truly found Christ as well as the peace and the love of God… Are you still on the run from past situations, certain situations or people you have left to go try your luck elsewhere like the prodigal son? Are there still situations from your past that need to be resolved? In what ways has your relationship with Christ given you new opportunities and resources to face what you used to run away from? Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.