So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back – not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
I have to say I doubt Paul ever had to put his hand in his pocket to make reparations for Onesimus. At least, I can’t imagine it. But we don’t know for certain. That he was sincere in offering to pay his bill, however, we do not doubt.
‘How Christ-like of him,’ though, is what I think when I read these words. Because it seems to me that when Jesus saw the enormity of my sin, there is a sense in which He said to the Father:
“If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.”
The Cross is the price Jesus was prepared to pay for the liberation of slaves. It is our loving path to where the home fires burn.
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