Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, Colossians 4:7-8
When you read Paul’s letters, he often sends greetings back and forth or mentions people who would have been known to his first-century readers but whose identities are lost to history. However, there are a few people, that with a careful reading a more detailed picture emerges. Tychicus is one of those guys. His first mention with Paul is in Acts 20:4 when Paul was in Ephesus. That leads many to suspect he was from Ephesus or at least the area nearby. Paul had been warned that trouble was waiting for him on his planned journey to Jerusalem. That didn’t deter Paul or any of his party from making the trip.
Now let’s be honest, we fuss if a flight gets canceled or if there are construction delays. We have no idea what an undertaking it was in to agree to accompany someone on a trip in the first century. Tychicus stayed with Paul throughout his arrest, through three trials and through the voyage to Rome which included a shipwreck.
He delivered the letters to Colossae and Ephesus and maybe the one to Philemon. This involved walking across Italy AND Greece AND another hundred miles across Asia Minor (with passage by ship across the Adriatic and Aegean Seas in between, of course). Finally, he was sent back to Ephesus to fill in as pastor for Timothy so Timothy could visit Paul in prison one last time. (2 Timothy 4:12)
All of those qualities made Tychicus the kind of guy worth emulating, but Paul’s own words about him are worth a closer look.
A beloved brother – Not only was he a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, but he was a beloved one. Tychicus had a heart and an attitude that endeared him to the apostle. Do we have that kind of heart and attitude?
A faithful minister – Tychicus was entrusted with difficult, yet critical tasks and he faithfully completed them. He demonstrated his faithfulness not only to the Lord who called him but the one he served with. Are we that loyal and determined?
A fellow servant – Tychicus was first and foremost a servant. He clearly didn’t seek attention or prominence or even recognition. He willingly worked to do whatever was needed. Do we exhibit that same selflessness and humility?
Hardly as well-known as Timothy or even Barnabas or Silas, Tychicus stands as an example of a beloved, faithful servant who served not only his Lord but devoted his life to serving the body of Christ. He’s certainly worth knowing and emulating.
What are some ways you serve or can serve?
Would others use Paul’s words about Tychicus to describe you?