The Little Known Case of Onesiphorus

Lemon squeeze
Some passages of the Bible are just waiting to be squeezed, like those very few verses that mention a great hero of faith, Onesiphorus.

There are many heroes found on the pages of the Bible. Some are notable and memorable—great characters of Bible history. Others are barely mentioned—unsung heroes mostly forgotten.

One little known character is a Christian man named Onesiphorus. His ministry to the apostle Paul was especially meaningful and warmly remembered by the great missionary to the Gentiles.

But few Christians know of Onesiphorus. His name appears only twice on the pages of the New Testament. Five verses in all refer to him.

In this study, we examine these five verses and extract rich treasures of faith from these brief and passing mentions of Onesiphorus.

There are two purposes in this study. First, to be encouraged by the story of Onesiphorus. Second, this lesson is a case study in how to take your Bible studies to a deeper level.

Enjoy and be thankful for the brief but meaningful mention of Onesiphorus in the Biblical record.


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  1. Comment by Patsy Cox at 1:05AM.

    I felt your emotion as we traveled through some of the life of Paul and Onesiphorus. I, too, want to shake the hand of Onesiphorus! But, there are others I want to shake hands with and,you ,Wayne and Jared, are two of them! Of course, I have always had a spot in my heart for Paul!!
    As I took this journey with you tonight I kept thinking how I wish you could be cloned (tongue in cheek) so many times over and be spread around to us who need your lessons with the gentle but persuasive manner you speak. Thank you for the means that you CAN speak to some of us. As I am nearing my 83rd birthday I feel more than ever the need for these lessons. I find myself responding to e-mails with scriptures because some of them have been bothering more here lately. I know I am in the twilight years of my life and I feel I have lost too much time in ‘being about my Father’s business’.

    May God bless you as you study and teach us things for which you have dug deeply. My prayers are that you will continue in good health to be able to bring many more of these lessons to us. I know you had a serious health issue some time back and I was so afraid you would be called Home too soon.

    In Christian Love,
    Patsy Cox

  2. Comment by Denis Tomlinson at 3:01PM.

    WOW!!! Wayne, that was a far reaching lesson..Not just about Paul, but Onesiphorus.I wonder how we in the 21st century will fare at the Judgment…“If the righteous are scarcely saved..” This is a real eye opener for me. Thanks bro.

  3. Comment by Herb Carnagey at 1:45PM.

    The word “unselfish” certainly comes to mind as I think about this lesson. “Above and beyond” are good words that could be applied to Paul and Onesiphorus. How they must have loved one another and the Lord. These thoughts will dwell in my mind and aid me to be better in good times and in adversity. Patsy Cox had some very lovely words. I agree.

  4. Comment by David Toy at 3:48PM.

    One of the best lessons I’ve had the pleasure of hearing!!!

    It demonstrated a depth of Bible study, the likes of which far too many Christians will never be exposed to nor ever consider (or even consider possible). I’m thankful I found Christian Courier et al back in 1998 and have been “taught” what it really means to STUDY our Bible!

  5. Comment by Diana Jensen at 7:06PM.

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful study! Wow!

  6. Comment by David Toy at 8:50AM.

    I’ve listened to this sermon at least eight times and it gets better each time. I can honestly say this is by far my favorite sermon I’ve ever heard (tied w/Wayne’s sermon on The Crucifixion) as it has made such an enormous impact on my spiritual health, particularly in appreciating what our Christian forefathers endured and comparatively how little I go through for the cause of Christ! Thanks for the sermon AND thank you all for making it available to the rest of us.

  7. Comment by Roger Leonard at 5:44AM.

    Good lesson. Your approach helps me dig more.