Ephesians Meditations No.53
Eph 6:21-24 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. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love
And so we come to the closing verses of this wonderful little book. We hope you have been blessed by it. Unlike many of Paul’s other letters, he doesn’t send lots of personal greetings at the end, but if this was supposed to be a letter sent to Ephesus and then circulated among all the other churches of the area, that is understandable.
Only one person gets a mention here, the man who presumably was entrusted with actually taking the letter to them: “Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything.” We find Paul referring to him when he wrote to Timothy: “I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.” (2 Tim 4:12). He also mentioned him when he wrote to Titus, “As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me.” (Titus 3:12) and also when he wrote to the Colossians: “Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.” (Col 4:7) Look at these descriptions of this man – dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord and dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. Wow! There is a clear sign of affection there. This man means a lot to Paul. His faithfulness or ‘stickability’ is mentioned twice as is his servant-heartedness. He’s a good man! Could those descriptions be applied to us?
What is intriguing is Paul saying he “will tell you everything,” implying there is a lot to be told, and as soon as he says that you realise that this letter (or book, as we have referred to it) is largely devoid of any ‘news’. If we were writing a letter to friends we would probably fill it with things that have happened to us, but this isn’t that sort of letter. It is virtually all teaching. Paul has been imparting understanding of doctrine for the church. If you want the ‘local news’ you’ll have to ask the messenger, which is why he adds, “so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing.”
Now Paul doesn’t just leave it there, he adds something that makes us think about the obvious depth of relationship that he has with the Christians in Ephesus: “I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.” He anticipates the concern of the Christians at Ephesus for him. When he was with them he wasn’t some ‘distant’ or aloof preacher; he got involved with them. Thus there was a mutual concern, and so he takes pains to acknowledge that concern and says that Tychicus will bring them up to date with all that has been happening to Paul so that they will not worry about him. That is pastoral concern. Tychicus will thus encourage them. Even more pastoral concern.
He closes his letter with a blessing: “Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” See the things he wants for them: peace, love with faith and grace. Peace is the thing he almost invariably asks for whenever he writes to anyone, because he is aware that living in a hostile world means that there is often an absence of peace. Peace is an absence of worry or concerns. The causes may still be there, but peace means that we have come to a place of leaving them with the Lord (see Phil 4:6,7). But then there is love linked with faith that Paul says comes from heaven. Faith, we often say, is responding to that God says, and so here it is the recognition that true love comes through God’s revelation to us. Surely, reading this book, there must come that awareness, of God’s incredible love to us that has brought about all the wonderful things spoken about in the book. Our love comes through the knowledge of Him and all He has done for us!
Finally he asks for grace for all who love the Lord. Grace is simply the supernatural ability to cope in life, to live as Jesus. Note the little prod at the very end: this grace comes to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. That love will imply a closeness, and grace is actually the expression of the Lord himself in us. The love we have for him came because of what he did for us, is experienced and expressed daily through the empowering and prompting of his Spirit, and will continue into eternity. It is simply part of who we are, united with him.
Well, there we are, at the end. May you be blessed by this book. To conclude, may we recommend that, if you’ve never done it before, you make some time and read it out loud in one go. Be blessed.