It Takes A Team: Paul’s Final Remarks To Philemon
We’ve reached Paul’s final words to Philemon. It also happens to be my final Sunday at Big Meadow for another year. It is, with some of the same emotion, that I think Paul and I come to these final words. Paul examines the relationships that make it possible for him to continue his ministry despite being imprisoned. My ministry and Paul’s both come down to the same things: a relationship with the Lord and relationships with people.
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. If you spent any time with me during Philippians this summer, then you will remember Epaphras. He carried that letter back to Philippi. He risked his life and was to the point of death to help Paul.
We know Mark mostly from his gospel. He also was a cousin of Barnabas and was the reason Paul and Barnabas split. Somewhere he came under the influence of Peter and grew in the faith. Obviously he and Paul reconciled at some point.
Aristarchus was a long time associate of Paul’s . He was with him at Ephesus when the riots happened. He was shipwrecked with Paul on the way to Rome.
Demas is a sad case. At this point he is working with Paul, but later in 2 Timothy Paul refers to him as having deserted Paul because of his love of the world.
There is not much that we have to say about Luke. He was a doctor and wrote his gospel and the book of Acts. He was another long time companion of Paul
Why did Paul bring these men up? He wanted Philemon to know that they stood with him and that not only would he be accountable to Paul, but to these men as well.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Paul’s conclusion is similar to almost all of his conclusions. He prays for grace for Philemon. He wants the grace that Philemon experienced through Christ to be evident in his treatment of Onesimus.
What are out takeaways?
1. Relationships are the name of the game in our walk of faith. Once we have our relationship with Christ, we need relationships with our fellow believers to help us in our walk with Christ.
2. Grace is the cornerstone of our faith. The grace we receive and the grace we exhibit.