I have walked the ruins of Ephesus and having done so I found it easier to imagine this part of Paul’s travels. While I did it with all the comforts of modern travel, I am sure Paul’s journey was less comfortable. His imprisonment in this area was most certainly even rougher, which is why I find it impressive that even while he was in jail, he was worried about someone else. The concern he had for Onesimus is visible in his letter to Philemon where he advocates for Onesimus’ release as a free man.
If I were imprisoned, I think I would be more worried about my own fate. And yet Paul’s embodiment of the gospel message is so evident, he gives thanks for Philemon’s faith and is certain that Philemon will do the right thing. He also goes that extra step and assumes any debt Onesimus may have to Philemon. This short epistle illustrates so much of what Christ asks of us.
All-loving God, encourage us when we feel imprisoned to see the bigger picture and to pray and advocate for those less fortunate. Amen. — SQ