Book of Philemon

Phil 1 Collosae
Colossae was an ancient city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, and was the location of a Christian community.
Writing in the 4th century B.C., Xenophon refers to Colossae as one of six large cities of Phrygia. It was populated by peoples of Greek and Hebrew origin (Antiochus the Great having relocated there, two thousand Jewish families from Babylonia and Mesopotamia), as well as other cultures and ethnicities, as it was an early center of trade given its location on the Lycus (a tributary of the Maeander River) and its position near the great military and commercial road from Ephesus to the Euphrates.
Commerce of the city included trade in wool—the dyed wool collossinus was named for the place—and in the products of weaving and other trades. It was also known for its fusion of religious influences (syncretism), which included Jewish, Gnostic, and pagan influences that in the first century A.D. were described as an angel-cult (a matter addressed by the Pauline letter). The city was decimated by an earthquake in the 60s A.D., rebuilt independent of the support of Rome, overrun by the Saracens in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D., and then destroyed, ultimately, by the Turks in the 12th century, with the remnant of its population relocating, among other places, to nearby Chonae.
As of 2015, it had never been excavated, though plans are reported for an Australian led expedition to the site.

There are two things we seldom see nowadays, a personal handwritten note; and someone who says to us, “Put that on my bill.”  In this little letter, a man named Philemon received both.

This is one of the most personal stories in the Bible and it provides us with Paul’s only piece of truly private correspondence in Scripture.

Paul wrote it from prison, addressed to a wealthy man named Philemon who lived in the Turkish town of Colosse.

Philemon possessed bondservants, one of whom, Onesimui, had run away and fled to Rome. It’s likely he had robbed Philemon.

There in the capital city of Rome, Onesimus crossed paths with the apostle Paul who led him to faith in Christ.

The young man found new life, and Paul took this boy into his heart like a father to his son, mentoring and discipling him.

But the day came for Onesimus to be sent back to Philemon with this slip of a letter, an appeal from Paul to Philemon regarding Onesimus.

“Receive this young man as a brother,” said Paul, and “if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account” (Phil 1:17-18).

Onesimus left a runaway slave; he returned a dear brother, and we’re left with a book that teaches us the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

We can’t claim to experience God’s love if we refuse to forgive others. Christian forgiveness knows no boundaries. Christ put our sins on His account that we might be both forgiven and forgiving.

Key Thought:

Being members of God’s family obligates us to attitudes of forgiveness, reconciliation, and mutual respect, one for another.

Key Verses:

“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil


Key Action:

Receive, respect, and refresh your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Visits: 0

Scroll to Top