To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work. I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.Ephesians 6:21-22
As Paul comes to the end of the letter to the Ephesians and wanting to tie up loose ends he updates them on what the plans are. This is typical of the end of a letter of this sort. He has been dealing with issues relating the Corinthians and assuring himself that things are progressing well as far as the church in Corinth is concerned. Then he ensured that they were brought up to date with his news too. But rather than write about it he decides it is better to send Tychicus with a full report.
Who is this Tychicus? There are five references to him in the New Testament. A computer search of the Bible text will reveal all the references to Tychicus.
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.Acts 20:4
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.Eph 6:21
As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information.Col 4:7
But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.2 Tim 4:12
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.Tit 3:12
Another very helpful source is the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) which available in E-Sword if you have downloaded it.
This is what is found in the ISBE
(Meaning lit. “chance”): Mentioned 5 times in the New Testament (Act_20:4; Eph_6:21; Col_4:7; 2Ti_4:12; Tit_3:12); an Asiatic Christian, a friend and companion of the apostle Paul.
- In the first of these passages his name occurs as one of a company of the friends of Paul. The apostle, at the close of his 3rd missionary journey, was returning from Greece through Macedonia into Asia, with a view to go to Jerusalem. This journey proved to be the last which he made, before his apprehension and imprisonment. It was felt, both by himself and by his friends, that this journey was a specially important one. He was on his way to Jerusalem, “bound in the spirit” (Act_20:22). But another cause which gave it particular importance was that he and his friends were carrying the money which had been collected for several years previous in the churches of the Gentiles, for the help of the poor members of the church in Jerusalem (Act_24:17). No fewer than eight of his intimate friends companied him into Asia, and one of these was Tychicus Luke uses the word “Asian” (English Versions of the Bible “of Asia,” Act_20:4) to describe Tychicus. He was with Paul at Troas, and evidently journeyed with him, as one of “Paul’s company” (Act_21:8 the King James Version), all the way to Jerusalem.
- The 2nd and 3rd passages in which the name of Tychicus occurs (see above) give the information that he was with Paul in Rome during his first imprisonment. In Colossians Paul writes, “All my affairs shall Tychicus make known unto you, the beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord: whom I have sent unto you for this very purpose, that ye may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts” (Col_4:7, Col_4:8). In almost identical words he writes in Ephesians, “But that ye also may know my affairs, how I do, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: whom I have sent unto you for this very purpose, that ye may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts” (Eph_6:21, Eph_6:22). Paul had entrusted Tychicus with a very important mission. He was to deliver the Epistle to the Ephesians, that is, “the circular letter” (see LAODICEANS, EPISTLE TO THE) to the churches in proconsular Asia, to which it was sent, giving a copy of it to the church in Laodicea. He was then to proceed to Colosse, with the Epistle to the church there. In Colosse Tychicus would plead the cause of Onesimus, who accompanied him from Rome. “Under his shelter Onesimus would be safer than if he encountered Philemon alone” (Lightfoot, Commentary on Colossians, 314). In Laodicea and Colosse Tychicus would not only deliver the Epistles from Paul, but he would also, as the apostle had written to the churches in those places, Communicate to them all information about his “state,” that is, how things were going with him in regard to his appeal to the emperor, and his hope of being soon set at liberty. Tychicus would make known to them all things.
- The passages in the Epistles to Titus and to Timothy show that Tychicus was again with Paul, after the appeal to the emperor had resulted in the apostle regaining his freedom. The passage in Titus evidently refers to the interval between Paul’s first and second Roman imprisonments, and while he was again engaged in missionary journeys. The apostle writes to Titus, who was in Crete in charge of the churches there, that he intended to send either Artemas or Tychicus to him, so as to take the oversight of the work of the gospel in that island, that Titus might be free to come to be with the apostle at Nicopolis.
- The last passage where Tychicus is mentioned occurs in 2 Timothy, which was written in Rome not long before Paul’s execution. To the very end Paul was busy as ever in the work of the gospel; and though it would have been a comfort to him to have his friends beside him, yet the interests of the kingdom of Christ are uppermost in his thoughts, and he sends these friends to help the progress of the work. To the last, Tychicus was serviceable as ever: “Tychicus I sent to Ephesus” (2Ti_4:12). As Timothy was in charge of the church in Ephesus (1Ti_1:3), the coming of Tychicus would set him free, so as to enable him to set off at once to rejoin Paul at Rome, as the apostle desired him (2Ti_4:9, 2Ti_4:21). It should also be noted that at Ephesus Tychicus would be able to visit his old friend Trophimus, who was, at that very time, only a few miles away, at Miletus, sick (2Ti_4:20). It is possible that Tychicus is the brother referred to in 2Co_8:22, 2Co_8:23 as one “whom we have many times proved earnest in many things…(one of) the messengers of the churches … the glory of Christ.”
- The character and career of Tychicus are such as show him altogether affectionate, faithful and worthy of the confidence reposed in him by Paul, who, as already seen, sent him again and again on important work, which could be performed only by a man of ability and of high Christian worth and experience. Thus, all that is known regarding Tychicus fully bears out the description of his character given by the apostle himself, that he was a beloved brother, a faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord.
Tychicus was a “beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord”. Paul repeats this in both the letter to the Ephesians and the Colossians. There is a high degree of sameness or shared elements between the Ephesian and Colossian letters of Paul. That is another study in itself but I won’t be undertaking that with you. Not enough of you would be interested. If you are interested then do the analysis yourself. I have not ever looked at the similarities between these two letters before but I guarantee there will be some gemz to unearth.
Paul had great confidence in Tychicus. The Greeks speak of him as one of the seventy disciples, and make him Bishop of Colophon, in the province of Asia.
Every time you come across a name in the text of the Bible, put it under the microscope and find all about the person, the place or the event.
What You Believe About Someone Causes You To Draw Near Them; What You Know About Them Causes You To Remain Near Them.Robb Thompson
If the Christmas story is true, bow down. If it isn’t, bow out. Anything in between is dishonest.Rick Atchley
He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.Anon