“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” John 3:14 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 The Bronze Serpent
“blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed” 1 Samuel 25:33 “Wisdom is better than strength” Ecclesiastes 9: 16 David and Abigail
Mario: I don’t want Mark to come with us. He is not very nice! Peter: You’re right! He is difficult to deal with. We’ll tell him that we don’t want him with us. Madonna: It’s also not very nice to tell someone that we don’t want him. Uncle Nour: Madonna is right. What they said is exactly what the Bible teaches us to do. The Bible teaches us to be kind to each other. Do you remember what St. Paul did to Onesimus, the runaway slave? Madonna: Who is St. Paul? What did he do to Onesimus? (Epistle of St. Paul to Philemon) Peter: I know! The church considers St. Paul “the philosopher of Christianity”. He wrote 14 letters in the New Testament, writing four of them while he was in prison.
Uncle Nour: That’s correct! I’ll tell you all about it. Philemon lived in Colosse. He was a Roman citizen, not a Jew. His name means “beloved”. He became a Christian through St. Paul’s preaching. Philemon was a wealthy member in the church of Colosse. His house was the church where the people would gather to pray. Philemon had a slave. People could purchase a slave from a marketplace. So Philemon bought Onesimus. The name Onesimus means “useful”. Unfortunately, Onesimus was not useful. Mirna: Why? Uncle Nour: He robbed his master and ran away to Rome. In Rome, he spent all the money he stole from Philemon. Do you think God would abandon Onesimus because of what he did? Mario: Of course not! But what did God do?
Uncle Nour: God arranged that Onesimus meets St. Paul. St. Paul talked to Onesimus about our Lord Jesus, In spite of being in prison. He told him how our Lord shed His blood on the cross to save us. He also told him that God is always ready to accept the sinners if they repent, no matter how bad their sins are. Peter: Did Onesimus listen to St. Paul? Did he believe?
Uncle Nour: Onesimus believed in the Lord Jesus. He repented and confessed all his sins. St. Paul baptized him. He became a bishop. Mirna: What about Philemon? What did he do? Uncle Nour: St. Paul sent a letter to his beloved Philemon in Colosse asking him to forgive Mirna: What did he say in this letter? Uncle Nour: He said: “I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have towards the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints…. Therefore I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.” (Philemon 1: 4-10) Mario: Wow! St. Paul was really very kind to Onesimus. Uncle Nour: St. Paul’s kindness to Onesimus was not only by words, but also by deeds. He said to Philemon that anything that Onesimus owes, he will repay.
Peter: Did Philemon forgive Onesimus? Uncle Nour: Of course he did. He received him and treated him like a brother, just like St. Paul asked him. He told him “receive him as you would receive me” Afterwards, Onesimus became the Bishop of Berae. He was martyred on the 21st of Amshir. Now who can tell me what helped Onesimus the runaway slave become a bishop? Mirna: It was the way St. Paul treated him. Madonna: Truly, he treated him with love and kindness. Uncle Nour: Very good! As the Bible teaches us, kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit. It means that we should be nice to others and treat them with love, exactly like what St. Paul did with Onesimus. We also have to be kind because we are God’s children. To show the work of the Holy Spirit in us we should have the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. The Bible teaches us saying that… Mario: You’re right. What I said about Mark was wrong. I have to forgive him and reconcile with him. From now on I’ll be kind to everybody.
Memory Verse “All of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender hearted, be courteous” 1 Peter 3:8
Discussion Questions What makes a person nice? Have you ever met someone who was just mean or rude? Based on Today’s verse, How does the bible say we should treat each other? What do you think that would look like?
Onesimus was a --------- before repenting and after repenting he became a ------------ (Fill in the blanks) Robber – Bishop St. Paul forgave Onesimus but Philemon didn’t (True or False) False Onesimus the robber became a bishop by........ and............? (Select the correct answers) Magic Confession Robbing a bishop Repentance
Remember... That your behaviour is a reflection to what in your heart To be nice and love others no matter how it is difficult to get a long with them, just like Jesus loved, regardless of our sins.