This, the shortest of the Apostle’s writings, is one of the grandest illustrations of grace and forgiveness in all of Scripture. It is a warm, passionate appeal to a slave owner to accept back, forgive, and reinstate his runaway slave Onesimus. Because of the obvious analogy with our being accepted by God and forgiven through His grace, this little letter has become one of the most treasured in the New Testament.
Paul’s letter to Philemon has great practical value for us today. It teaches us about giving others second chances, the equality that believers have in Christ, and the power of the Gospel to transcend cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. In short, Paul’s postcard to Philemon reminds us about grace.
In this letter, Paul requested that Philemon reinstate his runaway slave and accept him back in a spirit of forgiveness.