We All Need a Good Friend

Irina, one of my dearest friends, visiting together this summer in Moscow. 



Scripture:

Eph. 6:21   So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus will tell you everything. He is a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts.

Eph. 6:23   Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Observation:

Tychicus appears in Paul’s writings five times, a couple of times being referred to as “a dear brother and faithful minister.” Later, one of the early church historians lists him as one of the 70 disciples sent out by Jesus. It may well have been in that early ministry with Jesus that he accepted his role as one who would be sent out frequently to strengthen the growing work of the church. Whether by Paul’s side, or sent on his behalf, Tychicus faithfully supported the work and his friend, Paul.  

Application:

When I think about the Apostle Paul, I think of this great man who seemed to single-handedly plant churches across the Roman world. Far too often we fail to see that he led a team of extremely committed individuals who gave of themselves self-sacrificially in service to God and the church. I’ve read the scriptures numerous times and it never dawned on me that I had read the name of Tychicus in five different passages of the New Testament. Somehow, he’s a good friend of Paul’s that seems to fly under the radar screen. 

Just like Paul, we are not supposed to be lone-rangers in life, nor in the work of God’s kingdom. We could all use a good friend, or a partner in what we are doing. 

When Paul embraced Christ, he also gravitated to a new way of life. These followers of the way were becoming a new family, one in which all the barriers of the world were destroyed. That’s why Paul could describe the new family as one where there were no Jews, Greeks, slaves, free-men, male and female — for all were now part of a new family. The church was supposed to act like a new family in which the followers of Christ were now brothers and sisters. It was this special bond of friendship, or of brotherhood or sisterhood, which was to provide for perseverance in the kingdom. Paul could trust Tychicus, because he was like a brother to him. 

Not only was Tuchicus like a brother, but he was a faithful minister. In other words, he had become a valued member of the family of God. Paul could trust him to go and to minister in his place. 

Maybe it’s this description of the relationship with Tychicus that can drive us to to understand why Paul felt strongly about peace in the whole community. The community, or family of faith in Ephesus, was to be united together by Jesus, the Prince of Peace. This would be reflected in the love that they had for one another, which was the result of their faith. What one witnessed was that grace abounded within the community, or family of faith. 

We were created to be bound together in the strength of relationship. We all really do need a good friend, and the church ought to be fertile soil for the cultivation of these relationships. If it’s not, then let’s take the time to reevaluate whether we understand what it truly means to be in the family of God. 

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for this reminder about friendship. Please, help me to be a good friend and to cultivate new friendships. Amen. 

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