As I was meditating through the book of Philemon one verse particularly caught my attention.
I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment (Phm 1:10; NASB).
It produced a strange warmth in my heart. The reason for this is the the intimate language Paul employs while pleading Onesimus’ case with Philemon. This verse seems to echo John 3:16 since KJV and NASB both employ the word “begotten” (KJV also uses “son”). Paul’s care for his disciples was like that of a father for his son.
This does not seem to be an isolated verse where Paul uses such intimate language. As I looked through other letters of his’, such language abounds. Paul called Timothy his “beloved child in faith”(2 Tim1:2). Titus was his “true child in the common faith” (Tit 1:4). This language was not confined to individuals, he applied them even to churches. When the Corinthian church was being torn apart by sectarianism, he informed them that though they may have many guides yet they have only one father in the Gospel – he was their father in the Gospel (1 Cor 4:15). When Galatians were being led astray by the circumcision party, Paul chided them and corrected them. He later added that he “was in pains of childbirth till Christ was formed in them.” He intensely desired to be with them in order to protect them from this damning heresy(Gal 4:19-20). Continue reading My Child Whom I Have Begotten