I have a friend who is always willing to help, be there when there is a need, even when it is not the most convenient. I am beyond thankful for this friend. If you have someone like that, you know what a treasure that is to have. There is a man mentioned in the Bible named Tychicus who my friend reminds me of, and we can be encouraged to be more like him.
Be like who? Tychicus! Just say his name 3 times fast! He is mentioned by the Apostle Paul at the end of Ephesians as “the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord whom Paul was sending to them as an encourager (Ephesians 6:21-22).” At the end of Colossians, Paul again mentions this loved brother by adding that he is a faithful servant (Colossians 4:7).
To be mentioned in Scripture, which is a big deal, I guess it depends on how you are mentioned, as someone who is a beloved brother and a faithful minister is impressive. Who is this faithful minister that Paul mentions at the end of this letter?
Tychicus is mentioned as one who accompanied Paul on returning to Jerusalem while bringing the monetary gifts that they collected for the church in Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). He is known to come from modern day Asia Minor and he was with Paul during his first imprisonment. He was sent by Paul to deliver the letters to the Ephesians and Colossians. He or another man, Artemas, would be sent by Paul to relieve Titus on Crete so he could visit Paul. Paul used Tychicus as sort of a fill in pastor for Titus and Timothy (See Titus 3:12 and 2 Timothy 4:12).
Many commentators suggest that the brother that is not named in 2 Corinthians 8:22 is Tychicus. Paul writes, “And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you (ESV).”
Though we do not know much about this man, Tychicus, we do know about his character and we can learn from him.
He was Faithful and Trustworthy
Paul was able to depend on Tychicus not only for being with him when he needed him, but also to fill in and pastor churches that needed a temporary pastor. He was someone willing to meet the need, step in where the need was, and be reliable. Someone who is reliable is not only faithful but trustworthy.
Are you known by being faithful? Faithful to the Lord? Faithful to your family? Faithful to your calling? Faithful to your friends? Can you be trusted to follow through and to be dependable? Tychicus was reliable, enough for Paul to brag about him to the churches about being his faithful friend.
I am so thankful that we have the Lord who is faithful, even when we are not (2 Timothy 2:13). I am thankful that it is by His faithfulness that we can be encouraged and motivated to be faithful. Tychicus was faithful because we have a faithful Savior, Jesus who endured the cross on our behalf. He was just modeling Christ’s faithfulness by his faithful service to the Gospel as he served his friend, Paul. My hope and desire is to follow Christ’s faithfulness like Tychicus. Paul reminds us that a steward of the Gospel must be found trustworthy (1 Corinthians 4:2). Being faithful and trustworthy is character that is more valuable than even work experience. This speaks the Gospel louder than even using the latest sound system because the world is watching your character!
He was a Good Friend
He was willing to take on the risk of following Paul. As you read of Paul’s missionary accounts and his imprisonment, you realize that it was a dangerous thing to accompany Paul. (See 2 Corinthians 11:24-28)
Tychicus accompanied Paul when he was first imprisoned. This may not seem like a big deal, but he was willing to not only be associated with Paul who was arrested which means he could have had the Roman eyes on him next. This was a risk he was willing to take to care for his friend. A prisoner of Rome needed to provide for himself or lean on friends and family to help. Most likely Tychicus not only needed provision for himself but help Paul out as well.
He also was willing to be away from his family or any other types of comfort of home as he traveled with Paul. If you have ever traveled away from home, you know that after a while the adventure feeling goes away and you are homesick. Tychicus stuck it out as a faithful and good friend to Paul.
Are you willing to come alongside a friend even when it is inconvenient? How about when it may cost you some time, energy, resources, and even the opinion of others? It’s been said, “You know who your friends are when it’s time for you to move.” They are the ones showing up! A friend like this is a gem. We may ask ourselves who do we have in our life that is a good friend like this, but the better question should be “Are you that friend?”
He Didn’t Mind Being the Other Guy
Tychicus wasn’t a prominent Bible figure. He doesn’t have loads of content about his journey or even the impact he had on the Christian community. But, what we do see is that he was content being the other guy. This speaks volumes of his understanding of God’s plan in His life and how he had a heart to serve. This reminds me what author and pastor Jared Wilson said, “Jesus is the pastor who does his job; everybody else is the other guy.” We are all undershepherds to the chief shepherd. Tychicus didn’t mind being the fill in guy because he understood who Jesus is and His role to serve Jesus. He didn’t mind going wherever the need was.
“Jesus is the pastor who does his job; everybody else is the other guy.” -Jared Wilson
Today, God uses some as pastors and teachers and some even as temporary pastors for a church in transition just like He did in the New Testament. Are you willing to be the other guy? Are you willing to serve the Lord by supporting wherever the need is? Regardless of how you may feel as a pastor and your role, you will always be the other guy in comparison to Jesus Christ. This is the best thing!
He was known as an Encourager
Paul sent Tychicus to the Ephesian church to encourage them. If you know someone who needs encouragement, you encourage them. Tychicus was Paul’s response to their need. He would build up that church. When they were facing hardships, when they were missing Paul, when they were needing a reminder of God’s grace in their lives, Tychicus was sent to encourage.
You may think that there are those people who are naturally an encourager. They are the ones who know what to say at the right time and they know how to deliver it. As a follow of Christ, we are all called to encourage. the Bible says, “Encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV).” Are you an encourager or do you discourage others? Do you build up or do you tear down? Do you uplift or do you bring others low? What a great thing to be known as an encourager. A godly encourager is someone who always points to God’s saving, sanctifying, and sustaining grace!
May we all be like Tychicus who ultimately was modeling Jesus! A heart that has been transformed by Jesus will mold into Christlikeness, day by day.