And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
Apphia, is believed to be the wife of Philemon and Archippus his son. Notice that Paul greets them rather than Philemon, in fact Philemon is not even mentioned until the very last verse in this letter.
Here are some insights that we can gather from this letter seeking forgiveness for a run-away slave named Onesimus. First Onesimus wasn’t running away from slavery he was running to the gospel, he wanted to remain a servant, but he wanted to serve in another capacity.
Truly, he wanted to be next to the man of God, the anointing on Paul was authentic, myself being around some very anointed men and women of God you can feel the Lord’s presence. Onesimus wanted that so much that he was willing to serve in a dungeon!
It’s noted that Philemon pastored a church in his home, when someone is called to be a pastor not only do they get the call, but his wife gets the call too.
This letter is about forgiveness, so Paul seeing the need to forgive, positions the first two people who have been put out the most. Apphia & Archippus. Mother and son probably had to pick up the chores that Onesimus was responsible for, this probably caused some very hard feelings.
But this letter is open ended, when Paul arrives, he will settle the debt, and there is no mention of him returning to settle up, it’s open ended for a reason.