21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
(Ephesians 6:21-24 NIV)
As we finish up our study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (and us), we see Paul giving final remarks and instructions.
In yesterday’s study, Paul had just finished talking about prayer, and had asked for prayer for himself. Paul’s prayer was not to be released from prison, but to be a fearless witness for the Lord, even while being held prisoner.
Paul specifically mentions Tychicus here – he is the person that hand-delivered the letter from Paul to the Ephesian church. Tychicus is mentioned five times in the New Testament – he was one of Paul’s faithful friends and traveling companions. Paul did not want to write about all the trials and tribulations of his life – he wanted to encourage the Ephesians and remind them to live for the Lord. Paul said that Tychicus could answer their questions and help them pray more intelligently, and also tell them about Paul’s situation.
Are you thankful for faithful friends, ones that you can entrust to tell your story when you are struggling or need prayer? Paul found such a friend in Tychicus. Paul calls Tychicus a “dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord”. That is really high praise for an amazing friend.
Obviously, the Ephesians were concerned about Paul – they had not heard anything, and were worried about his well-being, where he was located, and what his situation was. With no phone, internet, or even mail services in Paul’s day, information was sparse, and often delayed in its delivery. Paul wanted the Ephesians to know that he was doing fine, and even in prison, that his concern was not about his well-being, but about preaching the Gospel fearlessly and faithfully.
Paul wanted to share the struggles that he was facing – he was not trying to hide the fact that he was in prison, but he did not want the Ephesians to focus on that fact – he wanted them to pray about his opportunities to share the Gospel wherever God gave him opportunity, not fearing the consequences of doing so. Both Paul and the Ephesians understood that Paul’s message about the Gospel might very well cost him his life, but Paul gladly counted the cost in order to share the good news with those around him.
Have you written a letter or note lately to a dear friend, letting them know how much they mean to you, and thanking God for their influence in your life? I unexpectedly received such a letter last week. Words cannot describe how that letter lifted my spirits and encouraged me and blessed me. Take time to drop a note to folks that are a special blessing in your life – you will be encouraged and thank the Lord as you remember all they have been and are to you.
Paul finishes his letter with a benediction, a blessing upon them. As we close our study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, this is my prayer for each of you as well:
Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Ephesians 6:23-24 NLT)