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, with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here. (Colossians 4:7-9)
Tychicus – A Trusted Companion
Traveling with the apostle Paul would have been an arduous life with the incredible schedule he kept traveling from place to place preaching the gospel of Christ. There were a number of people traveling with Paul including the historian Luke who on occasion would interject himself into the story of their travels. Barnabas, Silas and Timothy are well known companions but there were so many more than are named with little or no information about them. One fellow-worker with Paul was a man named Tychicus who was from Asia. He is mentioned in Luke’s account of the Acts and Paul refers to Tychicus in his letter to the church at Ephesus and to another fellow worker, Timothy. As little as we know about the man from Asia there are many things we do know.
Tychicus was a beloved brother of Paul. The apostle cared for all of his brethren but there were those who were dear to him because of their sacrifice in service to him and to the glory of God. Paul had brethren that were close to him and to whom he could rely on for their diligence to help in the work of preaching the gospel. These were important men and women to whom Paul would refresh his spirit in those dark hours on the journey or imprisonments. He knew there were those brethren that cared for his state and to whom he could depend on to encourage him. Tychicus and Paul shared many stories as they traveled around the Roman Empire establishing churches, preaching to lost souls, debating the issues of the day and helping one another keep their spirits alive in the kingdom of Christ. People like Tychicus are important because they are the examples of the Christian faith. They sacrifice themselves for the glory of God and for preachers like Paul, beloved brethren.
Being a fellow minister tells us Tychicus was a man who sharpened the mind of Paul with his love of truth and willingness to teach others about the Christ. Preachers enjoy the company of fellow ministers to share in the dividing of truth and examining texts together for deeper meaning and understanding. It is easy to see Paul going down the road with a host of fellow travelers discussing text from the Prophets or singing Psalms together and discussing the meaning of a certain passage. Commending Tychicus was a statement of endearment to the heart of a fellow minister who reveled in the spirit of those who challenged his faith and brought the challenge of knowledge to the apostle’s mind. Everyone needs someone to sharpen their minds. One of the greatest tools in the arsenal of the church is the time spent with others discussing the text of holy writ and learning from one another deeper truths of God’s grace. Talking with one another about the Bible should be a joy shared by all those who seek to understand the will of God. The joy of helping others learn the truth is a vital part of individual growth.
Finally, Tychicus was a fellow servant in the Lord. The word ‘servant’ should not be lost in the translation of the text. Slavery was common in the days of the early church. Paul exhorted slaves to be obedient to their masters as Christ would have them serve Him above all men. Masters were commanded not to be harsh to their slaves but to treat them with the character of righteousness. As a free man and Roman citizen, Paul often called himself a slave or bond servant. This was a humbling reference to the work of serving the Lord with all diligence. Tychicus was a fellow servant showing that as Paul served in the work of the church so did Tychicus. Being a slave was a hard task. It required following the commands of only one master. The Christian is a slave to the will of God and must follow the admonitions of the only King and Lord Jesus Christ. As a fellow servant of Paul, Tychicus had given his life totally to the work of the Lord. Along with the apostle, the man from Asia gave his life to serve the work of spreading the gospel throughout the world. Paul was encouraged to have men like Tychicus working alongside him and seeing himself as a slave for the cause of Christ. They served the same Master and worked towards the same cause. The life of a Christian must be viewed in terms of slavery. Every child of God is a bond-servant to the will of God. Paul told the saints at Corinth they were bought at a price and their bodies belonged to the Lord. Spiritual slavery is the most comforting relationship known to man. Paul was a slave and he was glad to have Tychicus as a fellow servant working hard in the kingdom of the Lord. We need men like Tychicus in our lives and we need to be like Tychicus in our relationship with others – beloved brother, faithful minister and fellow servant of Jesus Christ.