Colossians 4:7-9, “7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.”
Tychicus was a native of Asia Minor who became a Christian and part of Paul’s ministry team (Acts 20:4). He will carry this letter as well as Ephesians and Philemon (Ephesians 6:21-22) and bring them news about Paul and his situation. Tychicus is described as a beloved brother and faithful minister (Colossians 6:21; Colossians 6:21), and was sent by Paul to other Christians in other places (2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12). Onesimus is a runaway slave who once belonged to Philemon and became a Christian under Paul’s ministry and was sent back to his master (Philemon 10, 15-16). Paul saw him after his conversion as a faithful and beloved brother (Colossians 4:9).
Paul’s words here to his coworkers are instructive on many fronts, namely, he sent Tychicus that he may “encourage your hearts,” (Colossians 4:8). The Greek word parakaleō is used here to encourage and means in this context to address, speak to, call to or upon, by way of exhortation, entreat, comfort, and instruction. Tychicus, as one of Paul’s coworkers, was sent by Paul not only to give news about what was going on with Paul but to encourage and to stir the Colossians’ faith in the Lord Jesus.
Paul could not be present here at this time of the letter because he was in prison, and so he had his coworkers bring the letter which held the teaching he wanted the Colossians to know about the person and work of Christ, Christian living, and Christian ethics. Here at the end of this epistle, Paul shows even as an apostle, he and we need one another. Tychicus was sent by Paul with the letter Paul wrote but also to encourage their hearts with the gospel and the news of Paul and what was happening with him.
Paul’s love for the Lord and others inspired loyalty and love. Paul made his share of opponents and enemies, and we will also as Christians. Even so, Paul wasn’t a loner; he had Christian friends and coworkers. He had a team approach to ministry and sent out trusted friends of Christ and his to share the gospel with others. All this shows us today as Christians; we should seek to build partnerships with other Christians and work to promote sound biblical doctrine while also working to promote peace and love in the local church.
Christians are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Everyone has a truth to share these days, but what sets Christians apart is the speak the truth in love from the Word of God. Let us be like Tychicus and Onesimus, who demonstrated love and loyalty to Paul in ministering to the beloved people of God by encouraging them in love with the Word. May our focus as Christians always be on sharing biblical truth focused on Christ alone and building up one another in love in our local churches and outside of it that we might encourage and spur one another on to love and good deeds for the glory of Christ.