Dream word – TWIST
“Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love's sake I rather appeal to you — being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.” — NKJV
Did I tell you I was in prison?
Following, is my inter-between the lines-version of Paul’s letter to Philemon. Please don’t get offended at this stab at the invisible words which I have perceived laying in between the lines of this letter. I have, no doubt, possibly incorrectly ascribed to the great apostle, thoughts that never even entered his head...maybe? In any event, I do hope it gives you some idea of the possible churchmanship of the great Apostle to the Gentiles and that it helps you find the humanness of this inspired letter of Philemon, which is always a delight to read. It’s one of my favourite epistles in the New Testament and always makes me smile. OK, here we go!
“This wee note is from Paul, (and by the way I’m in prison for serving Christ and others, the way I served you, yes you! A free slave owner)and Timothy (who also, just to let you know, is proof reading this personal letter and knows its contents.).
To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow worker (and you’re not a worker in prison my friend…you are free!)2 to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: (I want to make sure everyone at your end also has a read of this.)
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (You’re gonna need it by the time I’ve finished writing this..)
4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, (including and especially, the one who handed you this letter. Yes I mean Onesimus!)6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective (providing you don’t blow it by rejecting what I am about to say) by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, (Yes love! Joy, consolation, compassion, ooh and remember,love! You good old boy you! Do what a good guy would do!)because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. (You’re a nice geezer, you’re my bruvva! You, me old mucker, are the refreshe, even myrefresher. PS. Refresh me now, by sending back Onesimus.)
8 Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting (I am an apostle you know! But we’re friends.).9 yet for love's sake (You’re a lovely guy remember?)I rather appeal to you — (from well below my present built up greatness of you, you old joy giver you. You old compassionate refresher!)being such a one as Paul, the aged, (aahaaah, good old Paul. Good old, pitiable Paul, and did I tell you I was in prison? No?)and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ — (told you!)10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, (yes that scoundrel that legged it from your service who is now as dear to me as a son, even as my own son,even another Timothy to me. So watch what you say!)whom I have begotten while in my chains, (Did I tell you I was in prison?)11 who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. (Don’t forget the last bit… “and to me.”)
12 I am sending him back (we need to get this sorted). You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, (Paul the aged. Good old Pitiable Paul… and did I tell you I was in prison?)13 whom I wished to keep with me (and by the way, with your say so, want to still keep with me), that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the Gospel. (Told you, I need him to minister to me. Oh by the way, are you sure I didn’t mention to you, a free man, that I was in prison?)14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might (in others words mate, any public non-compliance with my suggestion will be considered by others to be a “bad deed”) not be by compulsion, (well not overtly anyways)as it were, but voluntary.
15 For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave — a beloved brother, especially to me ( Did I tell you that I needed him to minister to me? Also, did I tell you I was in prison?) but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. (Paul the aged prisoner.)18 But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. 19 I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay — (not that you would take anything from Paul, the good old aged, pitiable prisoner!)not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides. (Not to mention that of course…no, not to mention you are in great debt to me! Did I mention that? You owe me mate!) 20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord. (Accept him, get it sorted, send him back. I’m in prison and I need him. Refresh me.)
21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. (Because you are a good guy. A free guy and I am an old guy, who you owe, who is also, unlike you…in prison!) 22 But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, (Yup, whatever you do, you’re gonna have to face me sometime)for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow labourers. (There’s at least five more well known influential folk with me who know about the reasons and request of this private letter.)
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”
Listen: “Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,” - 2 Corinthians 7:6-7 NKJV
Pray: Lord, thank you for the real comfort and the real help that You give us through the administration and ministry of other real people. Thank You Lord. Amen.
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