Onesimus was a slave to Philemon probably in his late teens. In roman times slaves were the lowest class in society. Slaves rarely broke out of their class so once born a slave you died a slave. Society looked down on them.
We come to know about Onesimus in the bible. Onesimus ran away after stealing from his master Philemon. Back then when runaway slaves were caught they were branded with the letter F on their foreheads by a hot iron and labelled fugitive.
Now for a moment let’s move forward and look at today’s troubled teens. Do we not brand them with our judgements on them? “Your Stupid “, “Loser”, “troublemaker”, “Just Like your old man”, “You will amount to nothing”…..etc. Many of these same teenagers have had run ins with the law and end up living their punishment long after they have served their time. Many troubled teens live in the same hopelessness and are convinced they won’t live long & are driven by fear. They will remain this way until somebody intervenes in their lives……..
For Onesimus this was Paul. Paul shared the good news of Jesus with him & Onesimus we are told responded. Paul went a step further and stood up for Onesimus not only asking for his freedom but that he also be freed from his slavery. Now at that time around AD61, just before Paul took that massive step of writing to Philemon advocating Onesimus freedom, the prefect of the city Pedanius Secundus was murdered by hiw own slave. The senate voted to enforce the law that was already passed and put to death 400 of the murderers fellow slaves, men, women & children.
Did that stop Paul…. No. Paul put his own reputation on the line for a thief and asked that all charges be dropped and at the same time Onesimus made a free man. Was a runaway slave worth the risk? Would you do the same?
As for the outcome we cannot be sure. But some 50 years later Ignatius , Bishop of Antioch wrote a letter about a man who fitted Onesimus description. In this same letter, Ignatius referred to to the man as “Onesimus, Bishop of Ephesus ….
Today’ troubled teens need people like Paul if they are going to make it. Not just those in trouble, but all teens. They need people who will believe in them, people who are willing to stick their necks out for them. Here at Bad Boy Turned Good we believe in them. We believe that even the most hardened of them can change every bit as much as Onesimus, given the right encouragement, the right circumstances, and break out of their class just as Onesimus did.
At Bad Boy Turned Good we know that not everyone will change, in fact most wont. All we can do is be a mother or father in Christ to them, the results are up to God,………
Bad Boy Turned Good & Bad Girl Turned Good needs you in this non flashy, anything but easy ministry , although it is Gods way and it works. So if you want to know more or come and spend a few months serving God with us email: firstname.lastname@example.org & visit the following sites:
WHY? BECAUSE SOME THINGS ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR & Champions WILL RISE!