A Prisoner of Christ Jesus

1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, Philemon 1:1

I think Paul would have been happy if this was the epithet on his grave: Paul, prisoner of Christ Jesus. He certainly was no stranger to prisons and prison life. He knew what it was like to be chained to others, which gave him a clear path to preaching to them. Talk about a captive audience. Who was the captive? Paul would say he wasn’t the captive but those chained to him.

Back when I preached on the subways, one of my fellow preachers had a heckler. The heckler yelled this, “You’re a fool!” John’s immediate response was, “Yes, I’m a fool for Christ. Whose fool are you?” At the time it didn’t make sense to me but now it’s much clearer.

Relating that scenario to this verse, Paul was chained to Christ. Who or what are we chained to?

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