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I regret not being able to get to these verses yesterday, I had plans to do so, but then life intervened. Anyways, today we read the last three verses of Philemon. Last time we met we talked about a request Paul had of Philemon.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
These last three verses are Paul’s closing greetings. Greetings from other people who are with Paul in prison and elsewhere. Epaphras is a fellow believer in prison. You can learn more about who he was at this link.
Fellow workers are Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. These men are not prisoners but share in the work of the Lord, helping others know the Lord.
I find this verse interesting: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. I might be, being nit-picky but I wonder if there is significance in saying with your spirit instead of just saying be with you.
I have to admit that I don’t know what I can take away from this passage. I know that other people helped Paul while he was in prison, and that they helped him minister the gospel to others.
That he wasn’t the only believer imprisoned for his faith, is nothing new to my ears.
Recognition is there, that Paul often closed his letters extending grace to those reading the letter.
But what is there for me today? I fear I do not see it. Maybe it’s just as simple as this. We are not believers in isolation. Paul called for Philemon to keep a part of his heart. Giving him Onesimus back to care for as part of his church and household. Others were there to help Paul as well so he was not alone. Being alone in grief is not a good thing, it wasn’t easy for Paul to give Onesimus back to Philemon depending on him as he did.
Let us then remember to not be in isolation. To remember our larger family. A good thing that eh?