So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
(Ephesians 6:21-22 ESV)
As we approach the end of the study of the book of Ephesians we read Paul’s closing remarks. Its easy to gloss over the final comments in Paul’s letters but that would be a mistake. All Scripture is useful [2 Timothy 3:16] and today’s verses are no exception. They tell us something very important. They tell us the kind of people God is calling his children to be.
As there was no email or postal service back then, Paul had to send his letters with a messenger who could be trusted to carry it 1,477 miles (2,377 km) from Rome to Ephesus.
In today’s passage we read that this letter was carried by a man named Tychicus, a man Paul refers to as beloved. Tychicus was well-liked by others, ostensibly because he cared about other people and was able to encourage [their] hearts.
Paul also called Tychicus faithful. The Greek word is πιστοσ (pronounced: pis-tos’ ) which means “one who can be relied upon especially when it comes to business transactions”. Tychicus had proven himself responsible and Paul apparently trusted him highly as he used him numerous times to carry out important tasks besides this one [Acts 20:4, Colossians 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:12, Titus 3:12].
God isn’t looking for people who are wealthy. Or good-looking. Or athletic. He is looking for people like Tychicus who are loving and faithful. Tychicus was not a superstar. He was a man who served God by serving others even when it cost him something.
The round-trip journey from Rome to Ephesus would not only have been dangerous, but it would have been long and would have kept Tychicus away from his family for a long time. Tychicus was a man who was willing to take a risk and be inconvenienced when it came to serving God.
Once a person becomes a member of God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ [John 1:12, 3:3], that person is no longer to live for self. We are to serve God by living for others as Jesus Himself did. If we do, then at the end of our life we will hear God say “Well done good and faithful servant” [Matthew 25:14-23].
Notice God doesn’t say “Well done successful servant”. It doesn’t matter if we don’t live up to our own expectations. Many Christians think they don’t have the talent to serve God. They are right. None of us do. God uses imperfect people. He therefore does not require perfection.
But He does ask us to be faithful and to stick with Him even when we are inconvenienced or when things get risky.
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