“Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer…”
and Timothy our brother
Timothy is not a writer of the book of Philemon but a companion of Paul. Timothy was with Paul on his third missionary journey in Ephesus (Ac 19), so he was acquainted with people in Colosse where Philemon lived. Paul mentioned Timothy in five other salutations (2 Co, Ph, Co, 1 and 2 Th). He was with Paul during most of his stay in Ephesus when Paul became acquainted with Philemon.
By designating Timothy as “brother,” Paul reminds us that we are in the fraternity of the Father. Paul and Timothy were well nigh inseparable. There was a significant difference in their age, but they were close companions. Paul calls himself “the aged” in verse nine. Paul wrote two books of the Bible to Timothy (1 & 2nd Timothy).
Timothy was Paul’s troubleshooter along with Titus. Paul could not be everywhere, so he sent these two sterling men to address certain problems in the church. Timothy was the vest-pocket edition of the apostle Paul. Paul taught him everything he knew.
Labor in a common cause binds people together.
There are certain people that we can trust with delicate information. We know this because we know them. They will not garble the message or distort the truth. They will not add to the truth, nor will they subtract from the truth.
Php 2:19-23, “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.”
1 Co 16:10, “Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.”