21 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;
The second description of Tychicus is that he was a “faithful minister.”
and faithful minister [servant]
The second depiction of Tychicus was as a “faithful minister.” He was not only a brother but a beloved brother; he was not only a minister but a faithful minister. He was true to the service of the church at Ephesus and to the apostle Paul. Tychicus was loyal to Paul, who could count on him in difficult situations.
Tychicus was not a well-known member of Paul’s team. He was not famous or a name person on the team, but that does not mean that he was not successful. The emphasis here is upon his character rather than his personality. God does not require that we be brilliant or clever in the ministry. We do not have to be original. God does not expect us to be famous or popular. He does not even expect success from us. He does expect us to be faithful (I Co 4:1,2).
By the use of the word “faithful,” Paul described the quality of Tychicus’ work. When it comes to our ministry, God’s values faithfulness more than anything else. Tychicus was “Mr. Ordinary” on the team. He lived a monotonous life. No one wrote him up in the Christian magazines of the day. There was no Madison Avenue blood in his body. Our generation of Christianity loves to focus on personality, not character. It seems to make no difference whether a person is off doctrinally as long as he has a pleasing personality. It is one big brotherhood at the expense of truth.
It was not a popular thing to be a Christian in the first century. To be a Christian was not fashionable. To be a friend of a man in jail for preaching the gospel was not a very widespread position to take. That might cost a Christian something. Tychicus, however, was willing to pay the price.
Tychicus was no scintillating personality. He was steady, solid, stable and faithful. He did the little jobs as unto the Lord. He did not deem it below him to carry the epistle of Ephesians to Ephesus. He took up the slack. It takes a big man to do the little jobs. He did them day in and day out. No one patted him on the head and told him how great he was. No one interviewed him for a popular publication.
Colossians offers a third description of Tychicus as a “fellow servant” (Col 4:7). The word “servant” there is slave. Tychicus was a fellow slave with Paul. You can tell something about the capacity of soul of someone by the way he treats his associates. None of Paul’s associates were as gifted as the apostle Paul. Yet we see the size of Paul’s soul by the way he treated his colleagues. We do not read of any sermons that Tychicus preached, or books that he wrote, or churches he founded, yet Paul called him a “fellow slave.”
in the Lord,
“In the Lord” refers to the Lord’s work.
God wants us to be faithful in our ministry.
Tychicus was a man Paul could count upon. That is what God expects of us. He wants faithfulness. Many Christians today are faithless in ministry. How would someone describe your ministry? Faithful? Faithless? Can people count on you? Can people trust you to deliver the goods?
Today it costs us relatively little to minister the gospel faithfully. No one persecutes us. No one puts us in jail for preaching the gospel. No one ostracizes us for our witness for Christ. Yet there is more unfaithfulness in ministry today than in Paul’s time. God is looking for people upon whom He can count to do His ministry.
God has a plan for your life right where you are. It is more difficult to live the Christian life in the day-to-day humdrum of life. No one goes to the Christian wife who washes dishes day in and out to get her testimony about how she lives the Spirit-filled life. No one asks her how difficult it is to face the boredom of washing dishes every day. No one interviews her about the thrill of sweeping the floor. However, she is in the plan of God, and all God expects of her is faithfulness. When she does her housework as unto the Lord, she is a person with purpose.