So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.
Philemon 1: 17-18 (NIV)
Philemon, is a beautiful letter with a request from an old friend. Paul writes this letter to his dear friend Philemon about a runaway slave, named Onesimous. Onesimous had long runaway from Philemon and upon return, would be severely punished and possibly even put to death. Onesimous had been working on the Christian movement with Paul for sometime. Paul requested that Philemon take Onesimous back. Not to be put to death but to be treated as a Christian Brother and not only that, Paul requested that he be treated as if Onesimous was Paul himself. Philemon had every right to deny this request as Onesimous had broken the law and runaway.
Paul told Philemon upon Onesimosusís return he was to be treated as a leader in the Christian Movement and a fellow Brother in Christ. Paul told Philemon, no matter what was owed him by Onesimous, Paul would be willing to pay the debt himself. Paul said Charge Me. In my mind this means, money, a severe beating and even death. Paul was willing to put his name and life on the line for a fellow Brother no matter his past.
Isnít that what Jesus did? He didnít suggest it, he took a severe beating, then got on a cross and paid the debt owed. Jesus said Charge Me. The debt was owed by us to God for our sin. The penalty for sin is death, Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans, our debt had to be paid to God. Onesimous could be forgiven by Philemon. Jesus stepped up and said I am willing to pay the price, Charge Me. That is love that Jesus lay down his life for you and I, to pay our debt. As Christians just as Jesus did and Paul offered to do, are we willing to put a brother or sister before us and say, Charge Me?