Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Philemon 1:15 (KJV) Perhaps?

Philemon 1:15 (KJV)
For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
The Apostle Paul seems to choose his words very carefully.
He says, “perhaps” giving room for reconsideration.I believe Paul was confident that God had used the departure of Onesimus for the furtherance of the Gospel. By employing the word “perhaps” he allows Philemon a window to dispute the position and thereby think about it and come to the mind of God. If Paul had been too forceful or dogmatic Philemon may have just stiffened up and not given the proposition place to settle in.
He says “departure” rather than to refer to Onesimus as a runaway.Philemon would have been smarting over the loss of Onesimus. His absence would have caused financial loss. It would also have impacted his personal ego. Possession of a slave was a matter of social standing. To have lost one is indicative of irresponsible handling of the slave and might imply abuse (if the slave feels the need to escape).
Paul chose to soften the blow by labeling it a departure and then to reference the possibility of positive consequences.
Perhaps all our trials and difficulties would become softer and easier to rejoice in if we viewed them all as “perhaps used of God for eternal blessing.”
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Philemon 1:15 (KJV) Perhaps?

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