This Week’s Passage: 21 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. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. 23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
A few random thoughts about phrases in this passage…
Tychicus is mentioned 5 times in the New Testament (Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12). Here he is referred to as a dear brother and faithful servant. As I ponder this it makes me wonder how my ministry colleagues refer to me.
He was being sent to the Ephesians to encourage them. Interesting! You would think that with Paul being in prison that he would be the one needing encouragement. Paul was not throwing a pity party for himself because of his circumstances. He was thinking about others and what they needed. This is a mark of humility. It is also the mark of a man who has been captured not by the Romans but by the all sufficient love of Christ. He is able to look at the needs of others when most people would only be thinking of themselves.
I love the way that Paul finishes off this letter. It is a benediction of grace. Grace has certainly been a key word in this letter – especially chapter 2. Paul wants his readers never to forget that they are to live by grace, under grace, with grace.
“to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love” – 2 questions spring to mind here:
1) What constitutes an undying love ? Paul is a man who’s life was radically transformed. He was a dead man walking who was made alive by the same power that raised Christ from the dead. He owed Christ everything and he did not take anything for granted. He never forgot what it was like to be “not saved.” And because of this his love for his Saviour was undying. I wonder, for those of us who have been Christians for a long time , or perhaps cannot even remember not being a Christian – do we know what it is like to be “not saved”. It might be worth pondering what our life would be like had we not been transformed by the grace of God.
2) What would make love for Christ die? We can probably all think of people who at one time professed love for Christ but now are not anywhere to be found. How does that happen? Maybe the love was not genuine to begin with. Maybe they got sucked into loving the things of this world. Maybe they were “disappointed by God.” Maybe they got hurt by someone in the church. Maybe they were disenchanted by the “hypocrisy” of Christians. Maybe no one demonstrated care and concern at a time when they were very needy. Is there anything that would make your love for Christ die? Do you love Him with an undying love? Do I?
So there you have it. If you have hung with me this year we have pondered the book of Ephesians in just over 8 months. Good stuff. I hope it has been as helpful to you as it has been to me. So what next? Here is what I am thinking. Right now I am pondering in the Psalms and posting on Wednesdays some of my reflections as they pertain to prayer. One of the disciplines I need to consistently add to my spiritual diet is that of reading great books. So on Fridays I will begin posting some things that strike me from a book I am just now beginning to read called The Transforming Power of the Gospel by Jerry Bridges. If you would like to read along with me you can get the book HERE.
Next Week: The Transforming Power of the Gospel – Chapter 1