Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Philemon 1~ Day 93~ I want "to be of use"!

As I started to read about Onesimus, the slave, I thought the name sounded super familiar.  So, I went back in our reading to 2 Timothy where I thought I had read the same name.  Timothy was the leader of the church of Ephesus and Paul sent his greeting to the household of Onesiphorus through Timothy's letter.

Ok, not the same guy.  However, they both start with Onesi-.  Well, that got me to wonder what the first part of the name meant.  I found out that the first part of the name is from the word Oninemi, which means, "to be of use or to profit."  Isn't that interesting?!

The one Paul referred to in 2 Timothy 1:16, "often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain."  Onesiphorus was "of use" to Paul!  Then, Paul uses similar words when he refers to Philemon's slave Onesimus.  "Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me." (1:11)  I thought that was interesting!

Some scholars feel the the use of a real name would put the "household of Onesiphorus" in danger, considering the persecution of the church under Nero.  Intersection of the letter would have identified a whole new target for the tyrant.  So, Paul could have been using a code name(s).  Who knows?!

What I get out of it is, that it is good to be "useful" to fellow Christians!  I want to be known as a Onesi-, one who is helpful, like the slave was to Paul (Phil 1:13) and like the other who helped Paul, both when he was in Ephesus and in prison in Rome (2 Tim 1:16-18).  What a great character trait to have; one who is helpful (of use or profit)!!
Lord, help me to recognize when people around me need a "Onesi-" in their life!!

2 comments:

  1. Nice tie-in! I love how you pull together the scriptures and make a theme out of something I may never notice. See, you are of use! thank you!

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