The LifeMessage of Philemon: The Expression of Jesus in Everyday Relationships
197 pages softcover, by John Juneman
I was not prepared for the startling truth of the book of Philemon and how it would shake my life. The deep affection and intimacy of relationship. The partnership and sense of connection. The manner of valuing every person, through word and action. These are the bold features that leap off of a one-page letter from Paul to a “beloved friend.” The message is simple, yet beautifully profound: God’s plan is all about relationships, and Jesus wants to share the message of the gospel through our lives as well as our words. Philemon presents us with a picture of relationship as God designed for us to have with Him and with one another. The most staggering realization for me was to see that this is merely a “snapshot” of Paul’s life and how Jesus works. What we see in the letter to Philemon is not an exception, but the norm of what He desires to be in all of us right where we live. It is the expression of Jesus in everyday relationships. Would I allow Him to be this in me? Would I allow Him to radically alter the ways I relate to people? Would I allow Him to make my life and relationships to be His message?