Philemon 1:1-2 “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and dfellowlabourer, and to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house”
The Bible is full of beautiful words to describe our relationship with Christ. Those who believed the gospel are called sons, servants, priests and kings! But Paul used a very different word to describe his relationship to Jesus: prisoner.
Paul was indeed a prisoner of Christ. On more than one occasion was the apostle beaten, whipped, and locked up. His wrists and ankles had scars and callouses from the heavy and uncomfortable chains he often wore. But he doesn’t call himself a “prisoner” of Christ out of shame or regret. To Paul, this was a title of honor and privilege.
In Colossians 1:24, Paul says that he rejoices in his sufferings: “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.” In Paul’s mind, he cousin’t suffer enough for the King of Kings.
My friend, have you had the experience of suffering for Jesus? Has your faith shown bright enough to draw the attention an evil and corrupt world? What is your response to a nation that is becoming increasingly antagonistic to Christianity? Do you view our age as an opportunity, or a horrible burden?
May we rejoice in our relationship with Jesus, not just as His child or His servant, but as His prisoner should He call us.