[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.

Colossians 4:7-9

Paul introduces the church at Colossae to two of his friends, Tychicus and Onesimus. If we stop for a moment and not just think that we are coming to the end of Paul’s letter and that these are only concluding remarks, then we will discover two men that any pastor around the world would count it a high privilege to have in their church.


Paul’s commendation of Tychicus is not just in the words he says about him in this passage, but perhaps even more so in the responsibilities he entrusts to this man. The name Tychicus comes from a word that means “to hit the mark” or to “happen / obtain by chance” and so “fortunate.”

By the time this letter was written in about 61 AD, these men had already known each other several years and experienced quite a few things together. They were friends who had proved God together.

We first meet Tychicus in Acts 20:4. He is included in the list of those that were travelling with Paul from Greece back to Jerusalem.

We are not sure how Paul and Tychicus met but it was probably in Ephesus.

He is a beloved brother (vs 7)Tychicus was not only a believer and therefore a member of the family of God and a fellow brother in the Lord, but his character was also such that he was described by Paul as a beloved brother. This is a term of deep friendship, it expresses the depth of the relationship. This encompasses both what they had been though together and how they felt about each other. This is almost another level. I have met many brothers in Christ around the world and have been blessed and encouraged by them, but there are some I know that are beloved brothers. Our Christian relationships our Church relationships can be so shallow at times, yet here we find something refreshingly wonderful namely beloved brothers serving side by side.

Note the trust, “Tychicus will tell you all about my activities.” Paul could trust Tychicus to represent him well, to inform accurately, it would be as if Paul himself were speaking.

He is a faithful minister (vs 7)This description commends his character trait of being faithful and his commitment to and his reliability to minister. The stress is on the work being done. It is a description of how the work is done, big or small. It was what happened when he was given responsibility of any kind. It implies that his reason for being a faithful minister is that he sees it as serving the Lord, Paul and the people. Faithful here (pistos) is referring to his reliability, not his belief or trust.  Paul knew that he could count on Tychicus to not only do the task and complete it, but to do it well.

He is a fellow servant (vs 7) (Fellow bond servant). Paul only uses this particular term for two men, Epaphras and Tychicus both of which are mentioned in Colossians. The term itself is used to refer to those who are also slaves. Jesus used it four times in Matthew 18 in that way and it is used three times in Revelation for those who are slaves of God.

The root term here is often translated as servant, but it is better translated as slave because it refers to those who are in a willing

relationship to their master, that is, the master does own them but it is still their delight to serve the master. In such Paul and Tychicus are together willingly serving the plans and purposes of Christ. They are subject to his will not by force but by delight, they together are slaves of Christ

[1] Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

Titus 1:1


Paul also commends Onesimus (vs 9). He is a very interesting man. He is a run away slave who is going back to Colossae to make things right with his master Philemon. You can look at him in depth by reading the book of Philemon

Onesimus had run away and made it to Rome where in God’s sovereignty he met Paul who shared the gospel with him and the consequence was that Onesimus was saved and became a Christian

He could not have been with Paul for a very long time, some say maybe up to two years, and yet he had already become close enough to Paul for him to call him a “beloved brother.” This again shows the depth of relationships.

He also had demonstrated enough character for Paul to describe him as “faithful.” The greatest proof of his character was that he was going back to his master by his own free will and in so doing, striving to do what was right.

Onesimus, though young in the faith, had already proven to be a man raised up with Christ with a mind set on the things above instead of the things of this earth. He was living for Christ and was actively setting aside the old man and putting on the new man. He was a man Paul could trust and give responsibility to. He was learning and willing.

He was already an example of the kind of man that Paul wanted the Colossians to be.

The commendations that Paul makes of these two men are characteristics I want to be known by as well – a beloved brother, a faithful servant and a fellow slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. I trust you also desire the same too and together as we minister to one another with the gifts God has given to each of us, we will see biblical, authentic, radical church life worked out with the help of the Holy Spirit touching the communities around us.