• by Gordon Franz

    In 1980, the country singer Willie Nelson released an album entitled Honeysuckle Rose.  On it was one of Nelson’s most memorable tunes, “On the Road Again.”  You know the words:

    On the road again
    Just can’t wait to get on the road again
    The life I love is makin’ music with my friends
    And I can’t wait to get on the road again
    On the road again
    Goin’ places that I’ve never been
    Seein’ things that I may never see again,
    And I can’t wait to get on the road again.

    I have adopted this song and modified it slightly (with all due respect to Willie Nelson) for the Tablot Bible Lands study tour of Turkey – Greece – and Rome because we are never two nights in the same place, except Athens and Rome.  We are always “on the road again”!

    On the road again
    Just can’t wait to get on the road again
    The life I love is seein’ (Biblical) places with my friends
    And I can’t wait to get on the road again

    Tychicus, a fellow worker with the Apostle Paul, whose Greek name means “Fortunate,” is mentioned five times in the New Testament.  Each time he is mentioned, he is either traveling “on the road again” with, or for, the Apostle Paul.

    Willie Nelson characterized his group as a “band of gypsies.”  Tychicus sometimes traveled with a band of men, but they were students or co-workers of the Apostle Paul.  And like Nelson, Tychicus got to see places in the Roman Empire that he never dreamed of seeing while he was growing up in Ephesus.

    Willie Nelson liked to be on the road singing and traveling like a “band of gypsies” with his friends.  Tychicus, on the other hand, traveled not so much to sing, but to share the greatest news in the world, the gospel of Jesus Christ and also to comfort, encourage and edify the saints.

    The Apostle Paul defined what the gospel was in his first epistle to the Corinthians.  He stated: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

    The reason the Lord Jesus died for our sins was because we are all sinners and sin cannot enter the presence of a Holy God (Rom. 3:23); even one little lie would keep a person out of a perfect, sinless Heaven (Rev. 21:27).  Sin was the problem; but the Savior, the Lord Jesus, was the solution to that problem.  When the Lord Jesus, God manifest in human flesh, was suspended between Heaven and earth on the cross of Calvary, He took the wrath of the Father upon Himself, and paid for all the sins of all humanity (1 John 2:2).  In grace, mercy, and love, He offers each and every individual the forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of God, reconciliation with a Holy God, and a home in Heaven if that individual puts his or her trust in the Lord Jesus and Him alone for their salvation (Phil. 3:9; 2 Cor. 5:17-21).  Because Jesus paid for all sins, there can be no merits, good deeds, rituals, or works that we can do to earn our salvation and eternal life (Rom. 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9).  One can rejoice in the free gift of eternal life; the fact that all sins have been paid for; and one can know for certain that he is eternally secure in Christ and have the forgiveness of sins (John 10:28-30; 1 John 5:13).

    In this study on the life of Tychicus, we will learn that being faithful in exercising ones spiritual gift, even using it for mundane things like being “on the road again,” could have great spiritual benefits for the Church and eternal rewards.

    On the Road with the Collection for the Saints in Jerusalem – Acts 20:4
    The first time Tychicus appears in Scripture is in Acts 20:4.  At the end of the Apostle Paul’s third missionary journey (AD 57), he is getting ready to go Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) in order to take money to the needy saints in the Holy City (1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8:1-9:5).  Dr. Luke recounts the makeup of the team taking the collection: “And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia – also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.  These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas” (Acts 20:4).

    This group of proven and trusted men were from churches in three different Roman provinces that Paul had ministered in: three were from Macedonia (Sopater, Aristarchus, and Secundus), two from Galatia (Gaius and Timothy; cf. 1 Cor. 16:1), and two from Asia Minor (Tychicus and Trophimus).  Trophimus was from Ephesus (Acts 21:29), and it has been suggested that Tychicus was also.  Codex D has a deliberate emendation of the text to read Ephesus, thus this might reflect a local tradition that Tychicus was from this city (Ramsay 1893:154).

    As a young boy growing up in Ephesus, he would have heard of different places in the Roman world from the sailors and travelers who came through this major seaport while traveling to or from Asia Minor.  He probably dreamed of seeing far off exotic lands and wondered if he would ever get to see such places.  He must have heard the quote from the rabbis: “He who has not seen the Temple that Herod has built, has not seen a beautiful building” (BT Baba Bat. 4a). Now he was traveling to Jerusalem, the city of the Great King, and would see this most beautiful building!

    The seven men selected by the churches to join the Apostle Paul and Dr. Luke were to take the money collected by the churches in Achaia, Macedonia, Asia, and Galatia to the church in Jerusalem.  How much money was involved is unknown.  But these men must have been of high moral character and men who could be trusted with the gold aurei and silver denarii.

    This was in stark contrast with what was going on in the religious scene in Ephesus.  The Temple of Artemis / Diana was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.  Pilgrims and tourists flocked to see this magnificent structure.  The temple was also the regional bank where people deposited their money for safe keeping.  Ironically, the temple was an asylum for criminals as well.  If they made it into the temple before the long arm of the law caught them, they were safe.  Now what is wrong with this picture?  Here you have thieves, extortionists, and murderers residing in the regional bank!  That is like inviting the fox to hang out in the hen house!  In contrast, the churches sent seven men of proven character who could be trusted to guard the money they were sending to the needy saints in Jerusalem.
    Some have suggested that the unnamed brother “whose praise is in the gospel throughout the churches” and that accompanied Titus with the second letter to the Corinthians was Tychicus (2 Cor. 8:18-21, 23-24); and the other unnamed brother was Trophimus (2 Cor. 8:22-24); but this is conjecture (Boyd 1918:2:623).  If it is true, however, Paul already knew Tychicus was a man of proven character and could be trusted.  This would also account for why he was selected by the Asian churches to help take the collection to the saints in Jerusalem.

    On the Road Again with Four Letters to Asia Minor – Col. 4:7-9; Eph. 6:21-22
    Perhaps four or five years later, during the Apostle Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome (AD 60-62); two events transpired in Paul’s life that had connections with the city of Colosse in the Lycus Valley.  One was meeting a runaway slave named Onesimus from Colosse; and the other was a visit from Epaphras who told Paul of the doctrinal problems in the churches in the Lycus Valley.  Paul had never visited this valley (Col. 2:1), yet he was deeply concerned about the spiritual condition of the churches in the valley that were possibly established by some of the students that he and others had trained in the school of Tyrannus in Ephesus (cf. Acts 19:9).
    When exactly, and what the circumstances behind the meeting with Onesimus were, Scripture does not say.  But when the Apostle Paul did meet him, he shared the gospel with Onesimus and led him to faith in the Lord Jesus.  Afterward the apostle mentored Onesimus and he proved to be a faithful and beloved brother.  He also ministered to the apostle while he was in prison (Col. 4:9; Philemon 10-13).  Paul, however, wanted to set things right between Onesimus and his master, Philemon, so he thought it best to send him back to Colosse.

    Epaphras, on the other hand, brought distressing news of some strange heresies that were creeping into the Colossian church and probably the other churches in the Lycus Valley as well.  As their representative, he wanted advice from the apostle as to how to deal with the heresies.  Paul counseled Epaphras, and they had a major prayer meeting about this situation (Col. 1:9-12).  Paul saw this as an opportunity to “kill four birds with one stone.”

    Paul had four purposes in sending Tychicus to Asia Minor.  First and foremost, he was to return the runaway slave, turned Christian, Onesimus to his owner, Philemon, in Colosse.  Second, he was to deliver at least four letters to three churches and one individual.  Third, he was to ascertain the situation in Colosse and report back to Paul.  Finally, he was to give a verbal update to the churches and individuals that he visited on his journey of Paul’s condition and activities while under house arrest in Rome.  They knew in was under house arrest, but Paul did not want them to worry about him, but rather, be encouraged by how the Lord was using this situation in Paul’s life and ministry (cf. Gen. 50:19-20).

    Proverbs 25:25 was probably the theme verse for this journey: “As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”  Tychicus and Onesimus were to report to the churches in Asia Minor how the Apostle Paul was faring under house arrest and to comfort their hearts.

    Tychicus and Onesimus would have walked the 360 Roman miles on the Appian Way from Rome to the port city of Brundusium and then boarded a ship to Corinth.  The ship would have to cross the 353 miles (565 km) of the Adriatic Sea and Gulf of Corinth to Lechaeum, the harbor of Corinth that was north of the city.  They would have walked the 8 miles across the Isthmus of Corinth as their ship was being dragged across on the Diolkos and then re-embarked the ship at Cenchrea on the northwest corner of the Saronic Gulf.  If they had to change ships, perhaps they would have enjoyed the hospitality of Sister Phoebe in Cenchrea (cf. Rom. 16:1-2) as they waited for another ship heading across the Aegean Sea for the port city of Miletus in Asia Minor 250 miles (400 km) away (cf. Acts 20:15).  From Miletus they would have taken a six-mile ferry ride across the Gulf of Latmos to Priene; and there, picked up the Roman road through the Meanders Valley to the Lycus Valley and the tri-polis: Laodicea, Hierapolis and Colosse.  The final leg of their journey was 132 miles.

    This trip was not an easy one.  The scenery along the Appian Way and the road through the Meanders Valley was boring and monotonous.  (Trust me; I’ve been on these roads)!  In the 1st century AD, one did not have the luxury of a taxi or an air-conditioned bus.  The mode of transportation for the travelers was limited to three choices: walk, ride a donkey, or take a cart.  The Appian Way had large cobblestones and the carts had no shock absorbers!  If you rode a donkey you had to feed it and that cost money, so you walked!

    The ships that crossed the Adriatic and the Aegean Seas were not the luxurious Caribbean cruise liners with open buffets and entertainment 24-7.  You brought your own food with you; you cooked it on deck; and you rolled out your mattress at night wherever you could find space on the ship.  If you wanted fresh food, you threw a fishing line over the edge and hoped to catch a fish or two.  There was always the concern for a shipwreck on the seas and robbers on the roads (cf. 2 Cor. 11:23-28).
    Yet Tychicus and Onesimus were faithful to their assigned task.  They walked nearly 500 miles of Roman roads and sailed 600 miles on two seas in order to fulfill their mission.  The total mileage for their journey from Rome to the Lycus Valley was about 1,100 miles, all to carry four letters and return a runaway slave!

    Let’s put this in a contemporary American perspective.  This trip would be like getting on a sailboat at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and sailing down to New York Harbor, and then walking from New York City to Cleveland, Ohio.  In other words, go to the George Washington Bridge; get on Route 80 and head west on foot!  (It would probably take about a month to do the hike.)  For those on the Left Coast, it would be like getting on a sailboat at Eureka, California, and sailing to Long Beach Harbor and then walking to Tucson, Arizona.

    When they arrived in the Lycus Valley, the first city they would have come to was Laodicea.  They would have dropped the first letter off to the church there (Col. 4:16).  After a short visit, they proceeded to Colosse.  At Colosse, they would have gone directly to the house of Philemon.  Tychicus would have handed him the letter from Paul and would have begun the mediation to reconcile and restore Onesimus to his master.  News would have spread quickly among the believers in the Lord Jesus in that city, and they would have gathered together, possibly in Philemon’s house, in order to hear the letter that Paul sent to the church.

    As this letter was read, Paul reveals the reason Tychicus was sent to the church at Colosse:  “Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.  I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you.  They will make known to you all things which are happening here” (Col. 4:7-9).

    Notice first of all, Onesimus is mentioned as “one of you” (i.e., he is from Colosse).  This implies that Tychicus is not from this city, nor the Lycus Valley.

    Paul gives three-fold qualities and characteristics of Tychicus.  The first is his spiritual relationship: he is a “beloved brother” (Col. 4:7; cf. Eph. 6:21).  When a person comes to faith in the Lord Jesus, he or she is “born again,” or born from above by the Spirit of God (John 3:1-8).  Before they came to faith, they were in Satan’s family, but after they trusted Christ, they are forever in God’s family.  Earlier in the epistle that was being read a Colosse, Paul wrote: “He [the Lord Jesus] has delivered us from the power of darkness [Satan’s domain] and conveyed us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14).  The Bible describes believers as brothers and sisters in the family of God and God as their Heavenly Father (John 1:12-13).  Paul does not call Tychicus “my son” like he does Onesimus (Philemon 10).  This suggests that Tychicus was not his convert.  Scripture is silent as to when and how Tychicus came to faith in the Lord Jesus.  Not only was he a brother, but he had the quality of a “beloved” brother.

    The second description recounts his faithfulness in exercising his spiritual gift of ministry / service (cf. Rom. 12:7).  He was a “faithful minister.”  William McRae suggests the characteristics of this gift in these terms: “The person with the gift of service has an unusual capacity to serve faithfully behind the scenes, in practical ways, to assist in the work of the Lord and encourage and strengthen others spiritually” (1976: 47).  Not only was Tychicus a minister, exercising his gift of ministry, but he had the quality of being faithful in that ministry.  As Paul stated to the Corinthian believers: “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2).

    The final description is that Tychicus is a “fellow servant / slave” (sundoulos).  On several occasions Paul calls himself a servant or slave of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Tit. 1:1, doulos).  In this epistle, Paul characterizes Epaphras, also from Colosse, as a fellow servant (Col. 1:7, sundoulos), and also a bondservant (4:12, doulos).  Paul is trying to identify Onesimus with himself and put him on the same level as himself, Epaphras, and Tychicus when he entreats Philemon to receive Onesimus “no longer as a slave but more than a slave – a beloved brother” (Philemon 16, doulos).  In one sense Paul is laying a guilt trip on Philemon – Accept him back as a brother in Christ, be reconciled to him, and also “Free Onesimus”! (Philemon 15-21).

    Paul wanted the Colossian believers to know how Paul was surviving his house arrest in Rome.  Most likely Tychicus and Onesimus would have begun with the greetings from Epaphras and recounted his imprisonment and burden to pray for the work in Colosse (Philemon 23; Col. 4:12).  They would have then told of the boldness of the Apostle Paul in sharing the gospel with the Praetorian guards that he was chained to.  Everyone thought Paul was a captive of Rome, but in fact, the guards were his captives because they could not leave their post for eight hours.  Paul took advantage of this captive audience to share the gospel with these hardened and elite soldiers, and some came to faith (Phil. 1:12-14).  Onesimus would have shared his testimony as to how he came to faith in the Lord Jesus after meeting Paul (Philemon 10).  One of the miracles they would have shared would have been how God intervened in Epaphroditus’ near-death experience and brought him back to good health (Phil. 2:26-30).  There must have been much rejoicing at the news of salvation of souls and God’s miraculous intervention in people’s lives.  All these things were shared to comfort the believers.  They would have realized that the Lord was the “God of all Comfort” who comforts the downcast (2 Cor. 1:3-4; 7:6) and His word would comfort them as well (Ps. 94:19; 119:50; Rom. 15:4).

    Another reason Paul sent Tychicus to Colosse was to get an update as to what was going on in the Lycus Valley: “that he [Tychicus] may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts” (Col. 4:8 NKJV).  The Westcott – Hort tradition says: “you may know our circumstances” (as in the RSV, NIV, and NASB).  It would seem redundant for Paul to say three times in these verses that he is sending Tychicus to tell them about the situation in Rome.  I think the better reading in the context is that Tychicus was also sent to assess the spiritual situation in Colosse.  Paul had heard the report from Epaphras, and they had prayed about the situation (Col. 1:3-8; 4:12).  The report back from Tychicus would tell them in Rome how God was answering their prayers in Colosse!

    After discharging his duties in the Lycus Valley, Tychicus proceeded to his hometown of Ephesus.  When the believers gathered at the school of Tyrannus, the letter that Tychicus brought from the Apostle Paul was read.  In this epistle, Paul stated why he sent Tychicus: “But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts” (Eph. 6:21-22).

    These instructions are similar to what Paul wrote in the letter to the Colossians.  There are some differences that are very instructive.  First, Tychicus and Onesimus are mentioned together in Colossians; but only Tychicus is mentioned in Ephesians.  Paul wrote both epistles at the same time based on a prearranged travel plan to Asia Minor.  Paul had instructed them: “First, go to the Lycus Valley and drop off these three letters that I am giving you and see to it that Onesimus and Philemon are reconciled.  Then proceed to Ephesus and drop off the fourth letter at your home assembly while you visit with your family and friends.  Finally, return to Rome with word of the Colossian situation.”  Thus, there is no mention of Onesimus in the Ephesians’ epistle because he was not with Tychicus at the time.  Second, Paul does not ask Tychicus to assess what is going on in Ephesus like he did for the Colossian situation.  The Ephesians’ assembly was a strong and healthy meeting with no doctrinal problems.  Third, Tychicus is not called a “fellow servant” in Ephesians.  This description was given in the Colossian letter because of the Onesimus situation.

    On the Road Again with Paul and Luke and Possibly to Replace Titus on Crete – Tit. 3:12
    The Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians that he sent Tychicus so that “he may know your circumstances” (4:8 NKJV).  This implies that Tychicus would return to Rome with the information about the condition of the Colossian church after he dropped off the letter to the Ephesians.  Apparently he returned to Rome and soon after the apostle was acquitted and released from his first imprisonment by Emperor Nero (AD 62).  Nero does not burn Rome until July AD 64, so Paul is long gone from the city when that happens.

    After his release from prison, the Apostle Paul went on a fourth missionary journey.  Dr. Luke does not record this journey because the book of Acts ends abruptly in chapter 28 with Paul still under house arrest in Rome.  However, one can trace a plausible itinerary of the fourth missionary journey from Paul’s Prison and Pastoral Epistles (Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus).

    It had long been the Apostle Paul’s desire to take the gospel to Spain (Rom. 15:24), and church history suggests that he got there.  Most likely he went there first and then on to the island of Crete where he left Titus.  Paul’s team continued to Macedonia, and then on to Asia Minor.  He apparently was heading back to Rome and planned to spend the winter in Nicopolis in the region of Epirus on the west coast of Greece by the Adriatic Sea.  Most likely he went through Corinth on his way to Nicopolis.

    Apparently in Corinth (AD 66?), Paul penned a letter to Titus on the island of Crete and took advantage of two itinerant preachers, Zenas and Apollos, to take the letter to Titus on their way through the island of Crete to parts unknown.  Among other things, Paul instructs Titus: “When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there” (Tit. 3:12).  It seems that Artemas (of whom we know nothing more than his name in this verse) and Tychicus were traveling with the Apostle Paul, Dr. Luke, and Trophimus on this missionary trip and Paul was trying to decide who to send to Crete to replace Titus in the work that he was doing.

    The Apostle Paul had judged Tychicus faithful in his ministry and wanted to give him greater responsibilities.  Yet Paul eventually chose Artemas instead of Tychicus.  I suspect the reason Tychicus was not chosen to replace Titus was because Titus had the spiritual gift of administration (1 Cor. 12:28) and that was not one of Tychicus’ gift.  Perhaps Paul had discerned that it was Artemas’ gift and he would be better suited to set in order the things that were lacking in the churches on the island of Crete and finish the job of appointing elders in the churches in every city (cf. Tit. 1:5).

    On the Road Again, Back Home to Ephesus with another Letter – 2 Tim. 4:12
    Paul was a prisoner again in Rome, and knew he was about to be executed, when he penned his “last will and testament” to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy (2 Tim. 1:12, 16-18; 2:9; AD 66 or 67).  In it, Paul requests that Timothy come to Rome before winter; but not before stopping at Troas and picking up his cloak and books (4:9, 13, 21).

    Tychicus apparently was not sent to Crete to replace Titus because he is with Paul in Rome during his second imprisonment, which took place soon after Paul wrote to Titus.  All of Paul’s co-workers had left Paul for one reason or another during this time of danger for Christians in Rome, except Dr. Luke and Tychicus (2 Tim. 4:10-11).  Paul wrote: “And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus” (4:12).

    The verb “sent” is in the aorist tense.  Scholars have debated whether it should be understood as a historical aorist or an epistolary aorist.  If it’s a historical aorist, that would mean that Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus before he wrote the letter to Timothy.  If it’s an epistolary aorist, then Paul, by using this common Greek idiom, would place Tychicus in Ephesus at the time of the readers reading the letter.  I suspect it is the latter use.  This would mean that Paul sent Tychicus to deliver the letter to Timothy in Ephesus (Hiebert 1992:218).  Thus making it the fourth, or fifth, inspired epistle that Tychicus carried from Paul to its intended recipient.

    The Apostle Paul wrote thirteen epistles totaling 87 chapters in the New Testament (assuming he did not write the epistle to the Hebrews).  Tychicus carried at least four letters (Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and 2 Timothy), and possibly a fifth letter (2 Corinthians) that were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The total number of chapters that Tychicus would have carried of Paul’s inspired books would be 15 or 28 chapters.  Thus, Tychicus would have been responsible for 17 – 24% of the content of Paul’s writings getting to their intended destination!  What some might consider a mundane task of carrying letters for the apostle, Tychicus took as an important task because these epistles were used to build up the Body of Christ, the Church.  Tychicus will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ for his faithfulness in exercising his spiritual gift that was used to accomplish an important mission.

    Loyal and faithful Tychicus was sent home by the Apostle Paul, apparently with thanks for a job well done, but also to replace Timothy in the work in Ephesus.  Timothy’s spiritual gift was evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5; cf. Eph. 4:11).  It would be very fitting for Tychicus to replace him if Tychicus were the unnamed brother “whose praise is in the gospel throughout the churches” (2 Cor. 8:18).

    Later Activities
    Scripture is silent as to where Tychicus went “on the road again” and what Tychicus did after he returned to Ephesus.  There are, however, at least three ancient church traditions as to what Tychicus did and where he went.  One, tradition says he became a bishop (or elder) in Chalcedon in Bithynia, a church probably started by Peter, Silas, and John Mark in AD 42 (cf. 1 Pet. 1:1).  Another tradition says he was a bishop (or elder) at Colophon, 24 km (15 miles) northwest of Ephesus, replacing Sosthenes, who was originally from Corinth (cf. Acts 18:17; 1 Cor. 1:1).  In Colophon Tychicus was martyred for his faith in the Lord Jesus (Boyd 1918:2:623).  Finally, there is another tradition that says he ministered at Paphos on the island of Cyprus (Hogarth, et. al. 1888: 189).  Which of these three traditions, if any, are true?  I do not know, but when I get to Heaven, I will ask Tychicus.

    How Does “On the Road Again” Apply to My Life?
    There are at least three things we can learn about being “on the road again.”  The first thing we notice about Tychicus was that he was a beloved brother.  He was born into the family of God by faith alone in the Lord Jesus.  Have you trusted the Lord Jesus as your Savior and know the joy of sins forgiven and the promise of a home in heaven?  Or, are you still in Satan’s family?

    The second thing we notice is that he was faithful in exercising his spiritual gift of ministry / service (Rom. 12:7).  The Holy Spirit sovereignly gives at least one spiritual gift, if not more, to every individual in the church as He sees fit (1 Cor. 12:11).  Spiritual gifts are given for the purpose of building up the local assembly and the Universal Church, both numerically, as well as spiritually. (Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Cor. 14:12).  Each believer must discern what his or her spiritual gift is and develop it so he or she can faithfully use it to build up the local assembly.  Those with the spiritual oversight of the church need to instruct the church on what the spiritual gifts are, how to discern them, and what is the practical outworking of these gifts in the local church.  They should also be able to discern these gifts in the individual believers and develop them so that these gifts can be maximized in the building up of the local church.  The apostle Paul sent Tychicus “on the road again” exercising his spiritual gift of ministry / serving in order to build up the Body of Christ, the Church universal.  Have you discerned what your spiritual gift is and are you faithfully exercising it to build up the local church?  Or, are you sitting around, warming the pew, and letting others exercise their spiritual gifts?

    The third thing we notice is that he was a fellow servant.  Paul calls himself a servant / slave / bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  As a slave, he was completely devoted to one Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and was determined to serve him all the days of his life.  This attitude he instilled in Tychicus as well because he was a fellow-servant (1 Cor. 11:1).  If you are a Christian, have you determined to follow the Lord Jesus, whatever the cost?  Or, have you said: “I’ll be Jesus’ slave on Sunday, but Monday to Saturday, I will be the master of my own destiny and do as I please!”

    Tychicus is no longer “on the road again” seeing places he may never see again, or sharing the gospel of the Lord Jesus to a lost and dying world.  He is in Heaven enjoying the mansion the Lord Jesus prepared for him (John 14:6).  Perhaps he is on the front steps of his mansion strumming his guitar, tapping his toes and singing a more spiritual version of “On the Road Again.”  When I get to Heaven, I’m going to look him up and we’re going to sit down and sip some ice tea or lemonade because I want to hear all his stories about his travel adventures “on the road again.”


    Boyd, W. F.
    1918    Tychicus.  P. 623 in Dictionary of the Apostolic Church.  J. Hastings, ed.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

    Bruce, F. F.; and Simpson, E. K.
    1984    Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

    Gillman, John
    1992    Tychius.  P. 682 in Anchor Bible Dictionary.  Vol. 6.  Edited by D. N. Freedman.  New York: Doubleday.

    Hiebert, D. Edmond
    1992    In Paul’s Shadow.  Friends and Foes of the Great Apostle.  Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University.

    Hogarth, D. G.; James, M. R.; Elsey Smith, R.; and Gardner, E. A.
    1888    Excavations in Cyprus, 1887-88.  Paphos, Leontari, Amargetti.  Journal of Hellenic Studies 9: 147-271.

    Lees, Harrington C.
    1917    St. Paul’s Friends.  London: Religious Tract Society.

    Lightfoot, Joseph
    1976   Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.  Reprint of 1879 edition.

    MacLaren, Alexander
    1887   The Epistle to the Colossians.  Tychicus and Onesimus, the Letter-Bearers.  Expositor, 3rd series.  5: 60-73.

    McRae, William
    1976   The Dynamics of Spiritual Gifts.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

    Ramsay, William
    1893    The Church in the Roman Empire Before AD 170. New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

    Rolston, Holmes
    1954   Personalities Around Paul.  Richmond, VA: John Knox.

    Seekings, Herbert
    1914    The Men of the Pauline Circle. London: Charles H. Kelly.

    Revised: June 2, 2010

    Posted by Gordon Franz @ 1:44 am

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