Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 6

About Tychicus, who took Paul’s letter to Ephesus

Ephesians 6:21-22

It was not possible to post letters at the time of Paul. Instead, someone had to travel in order to take a letter. So, a Christian who was going on a long journey would offer to take letters for the Christians there. That would give Paul the opportunity to write to the church in that place.

On this occasion, however, it seems that Paul particularly chose to send Tychicus to Ephesus and the surrounding region. That region then had the name Asia, and Tychicus came from there (Acts 20:4). 2 Timothy 4:12 probably refers to a later occasion when Paul again sent Tychicus back to Ephesus.

Paul trusted Tychicus, both as a true friend and as a loyal worker for God. He asked Tychicus to deal with a series of important matters on his behalf in Ephesus and the surrounding region. In particular, Paul had written letters to the churches at Ephesus (the Book of Ephesians), Colosse (the Book of Colossians) and Laodicea (see Colossians 4:16). Paul particularly asked Tychicus to encourage the Christians in each of those churches. Laodicea was about 100 miles (160 kilometres) from Ephesus; Colosse was a further 11 miles (18 kilometres) from Laodicea. Tychicus probably walked to these places.

Paul therefore wrote the Books of Ephesians and Colossians at the same time. It is interesting to compare these two books.

Tychicus took with him a slave called Onesimus (Colossians 4:7-9), whom Tychicus was returning to his master, Philemon. Paul’s letter to Laodicea does not still exist, but his letter to Philemon is in the Bible. It seems that Onesimus had escaped from Philemon. However, Onesimus then became a Christian, and a useful helper for Paul. So, Paul asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus, and to accept him back, not as a slave, but as a brother.

Next part: Faithful love (Ephesians 6:23-24)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.