Knowing Our King | Colossians 4:7-9 | Faithful Servants
Updated: Oct 27
Colossians 4:7-9 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
It is hard to overstate the importance of the closing of Paul’s Letter, it is in these closing lines that we are given a snapshot into the life of Paul and those who were serving with him at the time. Many of these names are not as memorable to us as those of the Apostles but assuredly these names meant a great deal to Paul and to the Churches they were sent to minister to and a great deal more to the Lord whom they served.
The 2 names we want to look at today are Tychicus and Onesimus. Tychicus was first mentioned in Acts Chapter 20 when we find him accompanying Paul and a team from Asia Minor to Rome with the gift for the saints at Jerusalem. It is likely that Tychicus was saved through Paul’s gospel ministry at Ephesus and from that point forward we find his life given to the gospel that had given him life. That is the first lesson that the life of Tychicus teaches us, that as the gospel has given us new life it will give us a new life, a life given to the Savior who gave us life! Tychicus's name means fortunate and never a more fitting name has been given to anyone, he was fortunate to have this opportunity and he was a great fortune to many churches and servants of God. He is only mentioned 5 times in the Scriptures and twice in the closing remarks of the book of Ephesians and Colossians, the closing remarks state that he was the penman who wrote as Paul dictated, this paints us a picture of a “Faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord.” [Acts 20:4, Eph 6:24, Col 4:7, 2 Tim 4:12, Tit 3:12] Tychicus was always spending and being spent for the Gospel’s sake, he was a servant of servants and therefore among the greatest in the Kingdom [“The greatest among you shall be a servant”]. He was content to serve in the ministry of Paul and to the churches as need be, he was a messenger, a comforter, and for a time, the interim pastor of the church at Ephesus. He shows us the need for faithful men who are willing to go when the need arises, to fill in the gaps, to report to a mission post for a time, and to be ready to spend and be spent for the gospel ministry. Oh that the church of this hour had more like Tychicus, how fortunate we would be!
Onesimus was a runaway servant who had previously been employed by Philemon, the host of the Church at Colossae [Phm 1:2]. A careful reading of the Book of Philemon reveals that Onesimus had run away from his master, apparently to Rome where he had, by God’s providence, found Paul in his imprisonment. During this time of Paul’s first Roman imprisonment he was permitted to preach to those who would gather in his home and from this many came to know the Lord[Acts 28:30-31], one of these converts was Onesimus [Phm 1:10] . In Philemon, we are told that there was a time when Onesimus was unprofitable to them but now that he has been saved he is called “a faithful and beloved brother.” That is the power of the Gospel! A servant can be a brother, a thief can become faithful and the Gospel has erased all the sins of the unfaithful servant and made him a “Faithful brother!” Little did Tychicus and Onesimus know that they were carrying with them documents that would change the face of the world and impact the lives of millions, for them it was just another day in the ministry. So it is with us, that what we esteem to be little, like delivering a letter, or delivering a message, or just being a faithful servant and brother has an eternal impact that we never know in our lifetime. At the end of the day every Christian through the ages has benefited from the ministry of Tychicus and Onesimus, if it were not for their faithfulness in the small things we would not have the letters of Colossians, Ephesians, or Philemon. Be a faithful servant and brother and there is no telling the lives that God will impact through you!