Re:Verse reading–Philemon 1-25 (day seven)
Philemon had every legal right to tear Onesimus down. Roman law even compelled Philemon to severely punish both Onesimus for his escape and Paul for harboring him. But Paul appealed to something higher. Just because you have a legal right to act or just because it is culturally acceptable to act, does not mean you should. Under Christ we have a new order. We are compelled to acknowledge the image of God in people, and in particular, we treat our sisters and brothers in Christ as our closet kin.
“Philemon’s culture had conditioned him to view slaves as less than full persons who were deservedly consigned to their lot by fate, and Philemon would have been expected to exact revenge on one who stole away. But what was culturally permissiblefor dealing with a runaway slave was at odds with what is fitting in Christ”-David E. Garland 1998
Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. 1 Corinthians 6:7-8