FootnoteThis short but very beautiful and wonderful letter was written during Paul's first imprisonment in Rome. It is penned to Philemon, a believer in Christ whose slave, Onesimus, had run away and also come to Christ through meeting, and coming under the ministry of, the apostle Paul. Paul adheres to the Hebrew fugitive law (Deuteronomy 23:15-16) by giving Onesimus shelter in his own hired house. Then he sends him back to Philemon bearing this letter, a request to Philemon that he receive Onesimus, not as a slave, but as a brother beloved. Paul's takes all of Onesimus' debts upon himself, a beautiful picture of what Christ has likewise done for us on the cross.