A Prisoner for Christ

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#80: “A Prisoner for Christ”
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Philemon
==Chapter 1==1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker,2to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home:3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,5because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.6I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,9yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus--10I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.12I am sending him--who is my very heart--back to you.13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced.15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good--16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back--not to mention that you owe me your very self.20I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.22And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.24And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
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A Prisoner for Christ
“A Prisoner for Christ” is episode #80 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on July 29, 1989.


Summary

Nicholas Adamsworth uses the Imagination Station to experience the story of Onesimus from the the book of Philemon in the Bible.

Plot

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Nicholas Adamsworth is back - and he's more afraid than ever. But it's not Richard Maxwell he's scared of, it's Eugene! Nicholas tells Whit that he and Eugene had to create computer programs for a class at the college. Eugene created a great one that Nicholas has managed to ruin! He's afraid that Eugene will kill him, so he's hiding out at Whit's End.

Whit says that since Nicholas is there, he can help test a new Imagination Station adventure. Nicholas agrees, climbs in, and is propelled back to first-century Rome, where he finds himself in the middle of an exciting chase. A slave named Onesimus is being pursued by Flavius, a centurion who's driving a chariot. With Onesimus, Nicholas manages to escape from Flavius, but Onesimus sprains his ankle in the process. Fortunately, they are helped by Epaphras, a countryman of Onesimus's, who witnessed the end of the chase. Onesimus pleads to Epaphras for sanctuary, so he takes them through the sewers to the only man he knows who has a house in Rome - the apostle Paul!

But after they arrive at Paul's house, Flavius shows up, claiming Onesimus. Paul grants Onesimus sanctuary, but the centurion still demands payment for the damages caused by the chase. Paul agrees to pay Onesimus's bill himself! This satisfies Flavius, and he leaves. Everyone is stunned by Paul's generosity, especially Onesimus. He wants to know why Paul would do such a thing. Paul says that someone special once paid a great debt for him - could he do anything less for others?

Onesimus wants to know more about this man who repays impossible debts, so Paul tells him about Jesus. Eventually, Onesimus becomes a Christian. He realizes that now he must return to his master, Philemon. Nicholas tries to talk Onesimus out of it, but Onesimus says that not going back would be like living a lie. He only wants to do the right thing. Nicholas realizes that he needs to do the right thing as well. He exits the Imagination Station and tells Whit that he's returning to the college to face Eugene.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was Nicholas so afraid of Eugene?
  2. Have you ever repaid someone’s debt?
    • If so, when?
  3. Is it important to be baptized?
    • Why or why not?
    • What does your church believe about baptism?

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Epaphras Rob Gregory
Flavius Bob Luttrell
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Nicholas Adamsworth Dick Beals
Onesimus John Mallon
Paul Hal Smith

Notes

Trivia
  • VERSION DIFFERENCE: The broadcast version of this episode begins with Chris writing a letter to her parents. She writes about how she has named her dog "Stay" (which of course has driven the dog crazy), but her dog steals her letter.
  • This is the last time we hear Nicholas Adamsworth before #239: “The Power”, where he turns into a shady character.
  • The baptism scene in this episode has generated a bit of controversy. Some listeners objected to the Apostle Paul baptizing Onesimus "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," but the writers were only intending to use the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19.
  • This episode featured the only other use of the original Imagination Station between the debut episodes and its destruction by Regis Blackgaard.

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Quotes

John Whittaker: OK, that takes care of the programming. Now to make my interior adjustments. "'Step into my parlor,' said the spider to the fly"...

Nicholas Adamsworth: Hi Mr. Whittaker! Bye Mr. Whittaker!
John Whittaker: Oh-Wha-?! Nicholas! Nicholas, what are you doing?
Nicholas Adamsworth: Uh, hiding!
John Whittaker: Well, I can see that! Who are you hiding from?
Nicholas Adamsworth: Just Eugene!
John Whittaker: Nicholas!
Nicholas Adamsworth: Sorry! He's not home!
John Whittaker: Now Nicholas...
Nicholas Adamsworth: No one here by that name!