There is a lot in this letter, but how about: “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus” (1:16-18). Here is a friend indeed! He often—not merely occasionally, but often!—helped Paul out. Paul had become a prisoner and an outcast, but Onesiphorus was not bothered by that. He didn’t care what others might say about him and his association with Paul. He searched for Paul in Rome until he found him. I can imagine him going from person to person, from office to office, from government building to government building, always asking and seeking. He did not give up until he found Paul. May the Lord give us friends in Christ like that and, also, make us to be friends like that.
Surely, as Onesiphorus was not ashamed to be known as Paul’s dear friend, also, he was not ashamed to own Paul’s Lord as his own. Isaac Watts wrote,
I’m not ashamed to own my Lord,
or to defend his cause,
maintain the honor of his Word,
the glory of his cross.
Jesus, my God! I know his name,
his name is all my trust;
nor will he put my soul to shame,
nor let my hope be lost.
Firm as his throne his promise stands,
and he can well secure
what I’ve committed to his hands
‘til the decisive hour.
Then will he own my worthless name
before his Father’s face,
and in the new Jerusalem
appoint my soul a place. –Isaac Watts (1707)