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June 16, 2013
The above titlewould likely represent most of the questioning reactions you would get if you asked someone what they could tell you about a man named Tychicus. They might not even know that he is mentioned in the Bible. If they do know, they probably have only heard his name when a preacher or class teacher has read one of the brief passages that speak of him. Even then, little thought was given to him—his name is just another odd name in a list, right?
Who was he anyway? He has just a short “biography” written in the scripture. Wait a minute—how long would your biography be in Scripture? Would you even be mentioned at all? Tychicus is mentioned in only five short verses in the entire Bible:
Acts 20:4 — And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.
Ephesians 6:21 — But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you.
Colossians 4:7 — As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information.
2Timothy 4:12 — But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
Titus 3:12 — When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
It is interesting that his name means “fortuitous.” To use that word in a way that we use it today: I think that it is very fortuitous that he is mentioned. His short biography should have a lot of meaning and lessons for us all.
He was a brother
(Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7)
We know that he was not Paul’s physical brother. he was Paul’s spiritual brother—his brother in Christ. Paul was a Christian by turning his life’s direction, recognizing Jesus as the Lord and Christ, and through his obedience in having been baptized for the remission of his sins. Remember the message form the Lord through Ananias? “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” (Acts 22:16). Paul also wrote that all who walk in the new life were doing so by having been baptized in the likeness of Christ’s death(Romans 6:3,4). Tychicus must have become Paul’s brother in the same fashion. This is more than many contemporaries could say, even world leaders. What a great start to a “biography.” Is this how your biography would start?
Tychicus was beloved
(Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7)
All brethren are supposed to love and to be loved. It is obvious that Jesus wanted us to get this point. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34). “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). “This I command you, that you love one another.” (John 15:17).
The apostle Peter also reminds us that all who are obedient must love one another: “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart” (1Peter 1:22). John says the same thing: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1John 4:7). In fact, the actual phrase “love one another” is found at least a dozen times in the Bible.
Since Tychicus is singled out as a beloved brother, there must have been brethren who were not so worthy. Did you ever notice that Paul never wrote of Hymenaeus and Philetus as “beloved” (2Timothy 2:17-18)? If Paul could write your biography, would he call you a brother? Would he call you a beloved brother?
Tychicus was faithful in the service
(Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7)
He was faithful. He could be depended upon. We can safely conclude that he was a faithful church member in his assembly with other saints, in living his life, in his service, and in any other thing that people usually think of as faithfulness. Faithfulness encompasses much. We certainly know that he was a faithful traveling companion in the Lords’ service (Acts 20:4). It is a thing of magnitude to say that one is faithful. If your biography were being written by one who really knew, would it be written that “he is faithful”?
Tychicus was a fellow-laborer
We notice first of all, he was a laborer, a worker. So many will do very little in the service of the Lord. Everyone must, who wants to be pleasing in the sight of the Lord. Remember Jesus’ story? He wants laborers for His vineyard: “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:1).
We also notice that he could get along with the brethren. He was a “fellow.” Many can’t seem to get along with others. Remember the Christians in Corinth? “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.” (1Corinthians 1:11). We must be “fellows” to be pleasing to God. This was one of the most notable things about the Christians at Philippi—they worked together for the cause of the Lord: “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). Again, would this be said of you?
Tychicus was capable of comforting the
hearts of others (Ephesians 6:22)
Tychicus was sympathetic and compassionate, both of which things one must possess if he is capable of comforting others. This is the way Christians should be. “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” (1Peter 3:8-9). “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1John 3:17). Once more ask yourself, if Paul were writing my biography, would this be written of me?
A short biography does not mean short on good character. Tychicus was Christian in every sense of the word. Are you a Christian? Could the same things be written of you?
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.