Apostle Paul did not hesitate to share the Gospel to the people around him. Even in prison he proclaimed the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
When he was a prisoner in Rome for preaching the Gospel, he met a young man called Onesimus who was there for stealing his master Philemon, a leader in the Colossian church.
Paul’s Plea for Onesimus
The apostle preached the Gospel to Onesimus and he converted to Christianity. After Onesimun became a new believer, apostol Paul interceded for him before his master Philemon. He asked Philemon to forgive the young man for what he did.
Through a letter, the apostol asked his “dear friend and co-worker” Philemon to receive Onesimus in his house once again. The apostol also requested Philemon to receive this new believer, this time, not as a slave but as a “brother in Christ” (Philemon 1:16)
Not only that, the apostol also took Onesimus burdens on him by saying “If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me” (Philemon 1:18)
Apostol Paul’s letter defending Onesimus’ cause before his master, Philemon
Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.
It is as none other than Paulan old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus, that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.
Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. I am sending him who is my very heartback to you. I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.
But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.
He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord. So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it backnot to mention that you owe me your very self.
I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
This kind act of love relfects clearly Jesus Christ and us. Jesus is the one who defends our cause before God. Christ stripped himself of his rights and asked the Father to forgive us and receive us as His children.