15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

Philemon 1:15-16

The radical act of Paul’s letter to Philemon is under appreciated. In the world in which Paul was writing, the idea that “all men are created equal” was absurd. There were people and there were people seen as less than human. The slave was not an equal.

But Paul writes to Philemon and creates a new paradigm that, two thousand years later, would be embraced by abolitionists and others. Before the throne of Christ there is no slave and free. There is no rich and poor. There are just brothers and sisters. All of us are equal before God.

Therefore, as you set about sharing the gospel, be humble. We are all equal before God. We may have different skills. We may have different talents. But we are all in common service to God and should treat each other lovingly as we advance the gospel.

It is that gospel that makes us useful and unique in the history of the world.