All people Paul praised, made mention of and obviously loved. He tells us quite a bit about them in a few words.
First off Philemon. He wrote to him specifically, to beseech him, to plead for a favor.
He first reminds Philemon, that they labored together in the Lord’s work.
He told him he prayed daily for him, not for health or wealth, or safety, but that his sharing of the Gospel would be effective.
(If you care for me, I covet this prayer).
He had heard of his love of and faith in Christ, and was pleased at his sharing, that he was causing the Saints, to grow and be excited in their faith.
He had a teaching, not evangelistic ministry. He was reminded to give the glory to God for any good thing that was within him.
Then he brings down the hammer.
“Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:”
He needed to plead to Philemon, because Onesimus, was once known to him.
Paul led Onesimus to the Lord, (in prison), as he apparently did Philemon. It is probable that Onesimus, was sent to prison, for doing wrong to Philemon.
Paul told him he was a changed man, that if possible he, Paul, would keep Onesimus as his own minister. (Helper in the Gospel).
Apparently, Onesimuses, prison time was over, so Paul begged Philemon, to receive Onesimus, as a fellow laberer, as a beloved brother in the Lord.
Paul, used his relationship to persuade Philemon. If he wronged thee, I will repay, place it on my account.
I won’t remind you how much you owe me. (Salvation?)
Bring joy to me, by doing this, I hope to be with you soon. I write to you knowing you will do more than I ask.
We find Paul, calling on behalf of a brother, to a brother.
He completes his letter, by asking Philemon to say Hay, to Epaphras his fellow prisoner and other, fellow labourers.
We can conclude that Philemon was at least in contact with the churches at Colosse, Laodicea, and in Hierapolis.
More to come on Epaphras.