From: Sha'ul, a prisoner for the sake of the Messiah Yeshua, and brother Timothy To: Our dear fellow-worker Philemon,
along with sister Apphia, our fellow-soldier Archippus and the congregation that gathers in your home:
Grace and shalom to you from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers, Philemon,
for I am hearing about your love and commitment to the Lord Yeshua and to all God's people.
I pray that the fellowship based on your commitment will produce full understanding of every good thing that is ours in union with the Messiah.
For your love has given me much joy and encouragement. Brother, you have refreshed the hearts of God's people.
Therefore, I would not hesitate, in union with the Messiah, to direct you to do the thing you ought to do.
But since I Sha'ul, am the kind of person I am, an old man and now for the Messiah Yeshua's sake a prisoner besides, I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.
My request to you concerns my son, of whom I became the father while here in prison, Onesimus.
His name means "useful," and although he was once useless to you, he has now become most useful - not only to you but also to me;
so that in returning him to you I am sending a part of my very heart.
I would dearly have loved to keep him with me, in order for him to serve me in your place while I am in prison because of the Good News.
But I didn't want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do for me may be voluntary and not forced.
Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a brief period was so that you could have him back forever,
no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, as a dear brother. And that he is, especially to me. But how much dearer he must be to you, both humanly and in union with the Lord!
So if you are in fellowship with me, receive him as you would me.
And if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me.
I, Sha'ul, write with my own hand. I will repay it. (I won't mention, of course, that you owe me your very life.)
Yes, brother, please do me this favor in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Messiah.
Trusting that you will respond positively, I write knowing that you will indeed do more than I am asking.
One more thing: please get a room ready for me. For I hope that through the prayers of you all God will give me a chance to visit you.
Epaphras, my fellow-prisoner for the sake of the Messiah Yeshua, sends greetings to you,
as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow-workers.
The grace of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with your spirit.