With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
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Holy, indeed, are all Paul’s letters. But those he writes behind bars are especially advantageous for the reader. Those include, for instance, the letters to the Ephesians and Philemon, that to Timothy, that to the Philippians and the one before us. For Colossians was written while Paul was imprisoned, since he writes in it: “for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.” But this epistle appears to have been written after that to the Romans. For he wrote to the Romans before he had seen them, but this letter later, near upon the close of his preaching. And it is evident from this that in the epistle to Philemon he says, “Being such a one as Paul the aged,” and makes request for Onesimus. But in the Colossian letter Paul sends Onesimus himself, as he says, “With Onesimus the faithful and beloved brother.”
With Onesimus, he says, the beloved, and faithful brother.
Paul calls a slave, brother: with reason; seeing that he styles himself the servant of the faithful. 2 Corinthians 4:5 Bring we down all of us our pride, tread we under foot our boastfulness. Paul names himself a slave, he that is worth the world, and ten thousands of heavens; and do you entertain high thoughts? He that seizes all things for spoil as he will, he that has the first place in the kingdom of heaven, he that was crowned, he that ascended into the third heaven, calls servants, brethren, and fellow-servants. Where is your madness? Where is your arrogance?
So trustworthy was Onesimus become, as to be entrusted even with such things as these.
Onesimus is the one about whom, writing to Philemon, he said, Whom I would fain have kept with me, that in your behalf he might minister unto me in the bonds of the Gospel: but without your mind I would do nothing. Philemon 1-3, 14 And he adds too the praise of their city, that they might not only not be ashamed, but even pride themselves on him. Who is one of you, he says. They shall make known unto you all things that are done here.