Who was Tychicus in the Bible? The Faithful Servant

The the New Testament of the Bible, there is a character who we learn a lot about. Tychicus, was a first century Christian, who served the Kingdom of God alongside the Apostle Paul and St. Luke. Although there is not much explicitly written about Tychicus, we can study to learn some interesting facts about him. Then we can create lessons from his life. Tychicus in the Bible was a man who was an Asian-Christian, who collaborated with other Christians, to share the Gospel with people across the region. ​

Details of the Character of Tychicus

He was a Co-Work of Luke 

There are many passages about Tychicus. We first meet Tychicus in the Acts of the Apostles. 

The first of these passages reveals to us the career of Tychicus. Tychicus was written about in the book of Acts. It says this “Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. “But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.” Acts 20:4,6

This passage was written by Luke, the author of the Gospel Luke and Acts. Paul is on his 3rd missionary journey, has been traveling and sharing the Gospel around the region. The first of these passages, tells us all of the companions of St. Paul on his journey. 

We learn that Tychicus is an Asian Christian. And, that he is with Paul at the close of his 3rd missionary journey. Beyond that, we learn that Luke is traveling with them also. Part of this journey included collaborating and working with other Christians. 

The business of the collection was to travel to the churches in the region and to preach the Gospel to people who we’re not Christians. As a part of this Tychicus, Luke, and the other in the company worked together. They worked to spread the message of Jesus. 

He was From Ephesus 

A few books later in the English Versions of the Bible, Tychicus’ name is mentioned again. St. Tychicus is revealed to be a faithful helper and companion of the Apostle Paul. We already knew this from the previous passage, however, it is confirmed that he worked closely with Paul. 

As a companion of St. Paul, we get to learn more about the Asiatic Christian, Tychicus. “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

“For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.” Acts 21:29

Earlier Tychicus and Trophimus were mentioned together, as being Natives Asia. It can be assumed that since they were both from Asia, and they were mentioned together, they were both from Ephesus. Being from Ephesus meant that they both saw the conflict going on within the Church. 

We know based on the book of Ephesus that there was major turmoil within the Church of Ephesus. Specifically, at the time there were no churches of gentiles and churches of Jewish converts, but those communities were combined. Jewish converts and Gentile converts were doing church together. This led to many disputes about the traditions and expectations of Christians. 

Tychicus got a front row seat to those conflicts, and were able to share Paul’s vision for a unified Church. 

He Carried Paul’s Letters

We also learn that due to Tychicus’ proximity to Paul, he was most likely carrying Paul’s letters. The letters that Paul was sending to the churches during his imprisonment were precious texts. In Colossians it is revealed that Paul sent Tychicus and Onesimus, a runaway slave, to carry the letter to the Colossians. 

During Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, he had tons of time to write letters to the church. Those letters eventually became canonized as scripture. This goes for the Book of Ephesians, and the Book of Colossians. 

Colossians describe Paul as sending Tychicus to give them updates about what has been going on. “Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.” Colossians 4:7-9 NIV

In this passage, Tychicus is described as being a faithful servant, which meant that Paul trusted him. Onesimus is also mentioned here. Onesimus was a run away slave who joined the companions of St. Paul. Paul even wrote a letter to Onesimus’ old owner telling him to receive Onesimus back and to treat him like a brother in Christ. 

He also carried a Letter to Ephesus

Not only did Tychicus carry one of Paul’s letters to the Collosians, he probably carried the letter to Ephesus as well. 2 Timothy tells us that Paul also sent Tychicus to Ephesus. “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2 NIV

This was soon before the end of Paul. Paul’s execution would not have been much later than this. However, he was still able to get his final letters out to the churches.

It is also believed that Tychicus was responsible for delivering the letter to the Church at Titus. Titus 3 says, “When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Titus 3:12 ESV

Spiritual Lessons from Tychicus’ Life 

After studying the life of Tychicus, we can pull out some lessons of particular importance. Tychicus was a good example of first century Christian working together to spread the Gospel. There are a few reasons for this. 

 Tychicus’ collaboration with other believers, submission to Spiritual authority, and urgency in sharing the Gospel are all traits we should imitate today. 

The Importance of Christian Collaboration 

Tychicus knew that doing the Lord’s work was important work, so he collaborated with the other Christians of the day. He focused on the interests of the Kingdom of Christ rather than his own. For example, people were always a part of his journey.

Disagreement and dysfunction was not uncommon within the early church. There were constantly disputes between congregations and people, but Tychicus is never seen in the heat of any conflict. This creates a good example. We should walk in unity with other Christians.

Paul fought with his companions, Barnabas and John Mark, but Tychicus was a faithful friend and companion throughout the New Testament.

The Willingness to Submit to Spiritual Authority

Not only was Tychicus willing to collaborate with other believers, we see that he submitted to spiritual authority. Based on the languages used to describe Paul and Tychicus’ relationship, Paul was a leader for Tychicus. Following Jesus’ example, Tychicus was most likely a disciple of Paul.

Tychicus was so committed to Paul that he must have visited him during his second Roman imprisonments. He was regularly one of the members in the company of the friends of Paul.

We see multiple times that Paul sent Tychicus places, and he always followed through. Although the letter to Colossians was Paul’s letter, as a member in Paul’s company, Tychicus was willing to carry out what Paul told him to do.  Tychicus was not insubordinate but he focused on the glory of Christ. 

We should listen to the leaders in our lives, regardless of if we agree or not. We should voice our opinions. However when the rubber meets the road, we should submit to the leaders God has placed in our lives. 

The Urgency of Sharing the Gospel

Finally, Tychicus showed the urgency of sharing the Gospel. He knew that the progress of the work he was doing was not finished, and he went on many missionary journeys to spread the Gospel. 

He also put a premium on strengthening the churches in the area. By delivering Paul’s letters, he was committing to strengthening the church, so that it would be better at evangelizing to the world around them.

We should adopt this same approach. The Bible is clear, we don’t know how much time we have left. Therefore, we should have an urgency in sharing our faith.