“And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace...
“Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.” Philemon 11
In high school, I had a friend who was an amazing athlete. As a freshman, the varsity soccer and football coaches got into a fight over him. He was so talented that by the spring of his freshman year, he was running a half-mile in just over two minutes. We all believed he was destined for greatness!
I lost touch with my friend after high school. After a decade, I ran into him and barely recognized him because of all the weight he had put on. My friend had changed.
As people, we age and our bodies are typically not getting better. We are constantly changing. However, there are moments when we encounter something so powerful it changes the trajectory of our life forever—and for the best!
Onesimus had been a useless servant to Philemon. But that changed when he wronged his master and ran away. However, when he met, Paul something changed—for the better. Through Paul, Onesimus met Jesus, and Jesus made him useful. This may have seemed like the end of Onesimus’s story—it wasn’t.
Even as Onesimus became a man of faith, things were not right between Philemon and Onesimus. But just as God changed Onesimus, he also had to change this relationship. Jesus brought forgiveness to this relationship, making the two men brothers! He brought them into a new world of sacred fellowship.
In the relational brokenness of our world, Jesus can do the same.
Jesus, make your gospel so beautiful to me that it changes my relationships. May I be a person who offers forgiveness because I have been forgiven. Allow my relationships to reflect you. Amen.