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One in a zillion Onesiphorus

November 22, 2017

Paul was no ordinary man, for his life was persistently dramatic, leaping from rung to rung, higher and higher in the ladder of spirituality and service: His exceptional turnaround/call, the steadily climbing graph of initiation and establishment in the faith, the calling/apostleship to the Gentiles, the practical spread of the Gospel to almost the whole of the then known world, among much much else such as even touching par with the disciples of Christ himself, or the relentless correspondence (letters – the bulk of the NT) he maintained with all his baby churches!! And here was this man finally in chains, in hardship and limitation and there wasn’t one to come to his aid!! It’s not that they didn’t know! It’s not that they couldn’t help! Except this lone Onesiphorus! It breaks one’s heart to read this towering spiritual giant find solace in an otherwise unknown nobody!

This one in the rest-of-the-world Onesiphorus responded differently, against the grain, in profound keeping with the simple/right/just/fair/noble need/deed of the hour: service, love, support, encouragement, strength, supply for, and identity with a man of God (more precisely a warrior, a martyr, a father, a defender) in his time of weakness, abandonment. The words are heavy with joy, desolation, vindication, wonder, pain, bewilderment, dependence, gratitude (the words of Paul to Timothy, about this diamond Onesiphorus):

May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. 2 Tim. 1:16-18

It’s not new that diamonds are hard to find! The Diamond Man: Onesiphorus.

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