OUR DEAR BROTHER TYCHICUS (Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ)

The name Tychicus means ‘fortunate’ or ‘fortuitous’. He is certainly a fortunate character in the New Testament. St. Paul calls him “our dear brother Tychicus” and describes him as “a faithful worker and fellow-servant in the Lord’s work” in his letter to the Collossians (Col. 4, 7).

In the books of New Testament Tychicus’ name appears in the Acts and in the four letters of St. Paul, viz. to the Ephesians, to the Collossians, to Timothy and to Titus.

Scripture scholar Ronald Brownrigg describes Tychicus as “an Ephesian convert and one of the two Asian representatives chosen to accompany Paul on his return to Jerusalem with the poor-relief collection from various Christian communities on the Mediterranean.” (Who’s Who the New Testament, p. 279)

Tychicus is first mentioned in the Acts. There Tychicus is one of the seven chosen persons who accompany Paul from Achaia. Acts says, “Then he (Paul) came to Achaia, where he stayed three months. He was getting ready to go to Syria when he discovered that the Jews were plotting against him; so he decided to go back through Macedonia. Sopater son of Pyrrhus, from Berea, went with him; so did Aristarchus and Secundus, from Thessalonica; Gaius, from Derbe; Tychicus and Trophimus, from the province of Asia; and Timothy” (Acts 20, 2-4).

Paul trusts Tychicus as an able messenger capable of not only delivering his message but also explaining it as a trust-worthy servant. In the final greetings in his letter to the Ephesians Paul writes, “Tychicus, our dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord’s work, will give you all the news about me, so that you may know how I am getting on. That is why I am sending him to you – to tell you how all of us are getting on, and to encourage you” (Eph. 6, 21-22).

Tychicus must have done very well in the mission of going to Ephesus and delivering Paul message. So Paul has entrusted Tychicus a similar mission to go this time to the Church at Collossae. Paul writes to Collossians almost in similar words as in his letter to the Ephesians: “Our dear brother Tychicus, who is a faithful worker and fellow-servant in the Lord’s work, will give you all the news about me. That is why I am sending him to you, in order to cheer you up by telling you how all of us are getting on” (Col. 4, 7-8).

Here Paul expresses his complete confidence in Tychicus both to deliver his message and also to explain it properly. In this mission to the Church at Collossae Paul has sent Onesimus – an escaped slave, to go with Tychicus. So Paul writes, “With him (Tychicus) goes Onesimus, that dear and faithful brother, who belong to your group. They will tell you everything that is happening here” (Col. 4, 9).

Biblical scholars say that the two letters to the Ephesians and to the Collossians must have written during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome. Both the letters contain Paul’s doctrinal teaching and rebuttal of falsehood about Jesus and his message.

Tychicus must have been a very capable missionary that Paul entrusted to him the important mission of carrying and explaining the two letters that Jesus is able to give full salvation and other beliefs and practices will only mislead the people (letter to the Collossians). The mystery of God’s purpose in history is revealed in Jesus and Jesus Christ should become real in the Christian living (letter to the Ephesians).

Tychicus must have been entrusted with similar missions to other Churches in Asia. In his letters both to Timothy and to Titus Paul mentions Tychicus’ name indicating perhaps that Tychicus might have fulfilled similar missions to Churches in other parts of Asia like Crete.

Anyway, as Ronald Brownrigg says, “Tychicus is one of the quiet but key figures in the history of the Asian communities, who have been described as the seed-plot of the Christian Church” (Who’s Who the New Testament, p. 280). (contact the author : यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

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