Tychicus is probably not a name you remember from the Bible. In verse 7, Paul commends him as a “beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord.” Tychicus was an Asian man, probably converted under Paul’s fruitful ministry in Ephesus (Acts 19 and 20). He became a minister and was very helpful to the Apostle Paul, who entrusted him with letters to various churches.

Here Paul is sending him to Colossae to deliver this letter and “encourage” the congregation. Tychicus was more than just a courier; he was a minister, and could report from Paul about the other churches and the spread of the gospel. He could correct false teaching such as the Colossian church was being subjected to, and he could give other instructions from Paul.

Tychicus was a sacrificial servant of the Lord. It was over 1300 miles from Rome to Colossae, and the trip would have been full of dangers and hardship. Yet he was trusted by Paul to be an important help to the small, fledgling congregation of believers in Colossae. 

This letter would have been huge to the Christians in Colossae. There was no email, text, Facebook, or phone. Christians in Colossae had never met Paul, but they knew all about him. They knew he was in prison for his faith. They knew the oppression of a culture that was decadent and opposed to Christ and the gospel. They needed encouragement and instruction from the Apostle.

Tychicus was just the man for the job. He was a walking example of the power of the gospel for salvation. He was not ashamed of Paul’s chains. He had left behind his pagan past, and now his ambition in life was to honor the Lord, and to serve the Lord’s people.

Paul calls Tychicus “beloved.” He doesn’t just use this word to convey his own feelings toward Tychicus. Paul is pointing out the status Tychicus has as a believer in the Lord Jesus, and why he is free to lose his life for the sake of Christ. 

“Beloved” is a word Paul used of Christ in chapter one: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Tychicus was beloved of God because he was in Christ. How could he be anything but beloved? God’s love is holy and perfect. Christ is holy and perfect and has made the believer the same. 

He has taken away all their debt of sin perfectly and clothed them with his perfect holiness and perfect righteousness. They are beloved of God, as he is. There is nothing more liberating than knowing you are beloved of God. Suffering and affliction in this world doesn’t change that status at all. The assurance of a Christian comes from knowing Christ is their righteousness before God.

Tychicus believed this. He believed Christ. Consequently, he loved Christ. And so serving his people was considered a special honor and privilege by Tychicus. He made faithfulness to Christ his goal in life. He looked ahead to hearing the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

For Paul and Tychicus, a Christian in prison for his faith was not a tragedy. Christians dying in their service to Christ was not a tragedy. Christians going through affliction and hard times was not unexpected. They could rejoice in their sufferings in the sense it brought them nearer to Christ. What was tragic was Christians not being firm in the faith, and not honoring the Lord Jesus. 

What were some of the things Tychicus would have said to encourage Christians in Colossae? He would have told them how the Lord was using Paul’s imprisonment to further the spread of the gospel. Paul does this himself in Philippians chapter one. He would have told them of Paul’s tireless labors for the churches, the sufferings of Christians in Rome, yet the joy they had in hearing of the faith of the Colossians and Christians in other places.

He would have said Christians all over are going through some of the same things you are here in Colossae. Here is how you can pray for this congregation or this situation. He would have reminded them of the greatness of their salvation and the day of the Lord that is coming. 

None of us knows the length of our days. We cannot change anything in the past. All we have is what is ahead until we see the Lord. Tychicus is a good example for us. He was “a faithful servant of the Lord” and that can be our aim for the rest of our days.