19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
In v. 19 Paul wanted to make sure Philemon knew he was writing the letter himself (contrary to what he was used to), showing a special treatment to its content and the assurance he would follow through with what he had promised.
Paul played a big part in the conversion of both Philemon and Onesimus, yet he didn’t want to use the favor he had with Philemon as a command, but rather as a plea. There is confidence and trust in God and in Philemon’s faith, that he would do “even more” than what Paul asked.
It was no small thing to ask that Philemon and Onesimus no longer relate to each other as a master and as a slave, but instead as brothers in Christ, going against the norm that society dictated during that time.
Onesimus, Philemon and Paul are all equals before God, sharing in the same need for forgiveness, mercy and grace, just like us. The ground is leveled before the Cross. What an incredible truth as we relate to one another in Christ!
Health Care Professionals. Pray for strength, hope, courage and compassion for those who care for the sick. Pray that they would be protected and have enough resources.