Philemon 21-25
Philemon 21 (KJB)
Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
Paul knew the spirit of Philemon and was totally confident that he would not only do what he had asked, but he would go above and beyond what he had asked. Paul knew that he was asking a very serious request of Philemon since there were grave consequences for a runaway slave but he wanted Philemon to view Onesimus as a brother in the Lord as the situation had drastically changed since Onesimus had left. He left a disgruntled slave and returned a new creature in Christ.
Philemon 22 (KJB)
But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
Paul had expected to be released from his imprisonment and on that day, he will make an effort to come to the home of Philemon. He is also asking Philemon to pray for him that it does happen and that he will be able to make it to Colosse. However, Paul never made it to the house of Philemon if his home was in Colosse because there is no record of Paul ever having been in Colosse. If you read the book of Colossians, Paul uses terms like (Col 1:4 KJV) Since we heard…” or (Col 4:8 KJV) Whom I have sent unto you…”
Philemon 23 (KJB)
There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
The name “Epaphras” means “Foamy or Charming.” Epaphras had brought the true Gospel to Colossae. He was not only a faithful servant and teacher but he was also a fellow slave of Christ with Paul and had attended to many of his needs. Epaphras may have met Paul while he was there in Ephesus for three years and learned from the Apostle. He may have also been imprisoned for his gospel testimony or Paul was speaking figuratively about him being a fellowprisoner.
Philemon 24 (KJB)
Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
Paul salutes these men also calling them fellowlabourers.
Marcus is John Mark. (Acts 15:37-39 KJV) And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. {38} But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. {39} And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; John Mark had caused a rift in the small band with Paul and resulted in Paul not accepting him. Now though, it seems Mark had become a stronger Christian and Paul saw him as profitable and a fellowlabourer.
Aristarchus was a Macedonian of Thessalonica who was a traveling companion of Paul. He was also imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel.
Demas was the one who Paul, early on, called a fellowlabourer but Demas loved the present world and abandoned Paul. (2 Tim 4:10 KJV) For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Demas forsook Paul right at the end of Paul’s life.
Lucas was Luke the Physician. Not much is really known about him but we do know that he was faithful to Paul. (2 Tim 4:11 KJV) Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. Luke was with Paul right to the end of his life. Luke went on to write both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.
Philemon 25 (KJB)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Paul gives his benediction of grace not only to Philemon but also to the entire church at Colosse. He also desires that they experience the grace of God in their hearts and hopefully never turn away from it. Amen>So let it be!