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Covering a Debt

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Among the ancients, there were a number of circumstances under which one might become a bond servant of another. Persons unable to pay debt might become servants to their creditors. Those unable to provide for their families might become the servants of the more prosperous. Some servants were simply bought or sold. Philemon had a servant known as Onesimus, though we cannot be certain how the latter came into the service of the former. Having abandoned his responsibilities to Philemon, Onesimus was converted to Christianity by Paul the apostle and sent back to Philemon with a letter asking that he be received as a brother in Christ. Paul asked further that himself, not Onesimus, be held responsible for any debt or liability. Nearly thirty years prior, the Savior covered a debt for Paul. Now Paul was doing it for Onesimus.

Written and voiced by David Hayes Prophater