Paul appeals to Philemon to acknowledge in this instance the transformation that occurs in relationships because of the reality of what it means to be in Christ: master and slave are transformed into brothers.
15Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while, so that you might have him back for ever, 16no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brotherespecially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011