Ephesians 6:21-22 Commentary

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Ephesians 6:21 But that you also may know about my circumstances *, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hina de eidete (2PRAS) kai humeis ta kat' eme, ti prasso, (1SPAI) panta gnorisei (3SFAI) humin Tuchikos o agapetos adelphos kai pistos diakonos en kurio,

Amplified: Now that you may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord [and His service], will tell you everything. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Tychicus, a much loved brother and faithful helper in the Lord's work, will tell you all about how I am getting along. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Tychicus, beloved brother and faithful minister, will tell you personally what I am doing and how I am getting on. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: But in order that you also might come to know my circumstances, what I am doing, all things to you, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful ministering servant in the Lord, will make known,  (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)

Young's Literal: And that ye may know -- ye also -- the things concerning me -- what I do, all things make known to you shall Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful ministrant in the Lord,

BUT THAT YOU ALSO MAY KNOW ABOUT MY CIRCUMSTANCES, HOW I AM DOING: hina de eidete (2PRAS) kai humeis ta kat' eme, ti prasso, (1SPAI):

But - see discussion of importance of observing and interrogating terms of contrast.

Doing (4238) (prasso) can mean to perform repeatedly or habitually though this meaning cannot always be pressed. Poieo (to do, accomplish) stresses accomplishment whereas prasso stresses the process leading to the accomplishment.

TYCHICUS, THE BELOVED BROTHER AND FAITHFUL MINISTER IN THE LORD: Tuchikos o agapetos adelphos kai pistos diakonos en kurio:

Tychicus (5190) (Tuchikos from tugchano [5177] = meet by chance, fortuitous, chance, fortunate) was Paul’s disciple whose name means "Chance", a name we occasionally encounter even today.

Paul described Tychicus as...

"As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant (diakonos - see discussion of diakonia in discussion of Mark above) and fellow bond-servant (sundoulos = sun + doulos) in the Lord, will bring you information. 8 For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts" (see notes on Colossians 4:7-8)

Beloved (27) (agapetos - see word study from agapáo = love) means beloved, dear, very much loved. Agapetos is love called out of one’s heart by preciousness of the object loved. Agapetos is used only of Christians as united with God or with each other in love.

God the Father uses this same word describing Jesus declaring that

This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased (Mt 3:17)

and in fact the first 9 uses in the NT are of God the Father speaking of Christ, His beloved Son. This gives you some idea of the preciousness of the word "beloved"! This truth makes it even more incredible that Paul described the saints at Thessalonica (and by application all believers of all ages) as "brethren beloved (agapao) by God, His choice" (See note 1Thes 1:4).

Beloved is a term of endearment and is someone that you love, and someone you are deeply devoted to. Paul did not call everybody "beloved." Beloved means the other person has struck a "chord" in your heart. There is a bond of love, a bond of faith that drew Tychicus and Paul together. Paul would not call somebody who did not love him "beloved". He would not call somebody he did not trust or someone he did not share things in common with "beloved". But when you find somebody who loves you that way and you can love them that way, the two of you to each other are beloved and that's the way Paul felt about Tychicus. There are people out front, but how we need the people who are coming alongside, the people we can call beloved brothers, people who love the work just like we love it, but are gifted differently, people who are willing to do the work and never take any kind of applause for it, people who are willing to go behind the scenes so God's work might be done through the body called the church and nobody ever knows what they do. When we get to heaven one day and the rewards are passed out, Tychicus is going to be blessed every bit as much as Paul is, because his heart was the same. His heart was to devote himself to God and to devote himself to God’s work. Therefore, the two of them could be matched together.

Brother (80) (adelphos from a = denoting unity + delphús = womb) is literally one born from same womb. Literally it is a male having the same father and mother. Adelphos describes a close association of a group of persons having well-defined membership. In the NT it often refers to fellow believers in Christ united by the bond of affection. It can also refer to a fellow countryman or a fellow Jew. In the present context it refers to a fellow believer.

The term "brother" brings to mind the idea of a family and in most families brothers are very close because share a lot in common, including kinship or blood ties. There is something about being a brother. There is something about being in a family. Paul of course is referring to a spiritual brother.

Paul also refers to Tychicus as a "fellow bond-servant", a sundoulos, where "sun" means together with, and "doulos" means a slave. Anytime you see the word "slave" in connection with a Christian it is always a bond-servant or "love slave", one who has chosen to be a slave to the will and the ways and the Word of the Lord Jesus Himself. Paul says that Tychicus is a bond-servant with me. In other words, Paul is saying that he and Tychicus come out of the same heart. This is the bottom line. Do you want to see where Paul’s heart is?

Look in Acts 20:24:

"‘But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, [here is a bond-servant] in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received [not achieved] from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God." Paul is saying, "I want everything about me to bring testimony to the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ, both living in me and motivating me to do what I do. I want my life to count for Christ." He says, "Tychicus is a fellow bond-servant. He has the same attitude I have. We share the same heart."

"But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may console and cheer and encourage and strengthen your hearts." (Eph 6:21-22)

Tychicus was one of Paul’s disciples and was first mentioned as a companion of the apostle during a portion of Paul’s return journey from the third missionary tour (Acts 20:4) where Paul identifies him (with Trophimus) as a native of Asia. Tychicus was with Paul when the apostle wrote the prison epistles from Rome (during his first imprisonment), and he was with him for a time when he wrote in a later imprisonment to Timothy (See note 2 Timothy 4:12).

In Paul's letter to Titus, the apostle clearly expresses his confidence in the ability of Tychicus to take over for Titus in Crete which would allow the latter to come spend time with Paul:

"When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there." (Titus 3:12)

Faithful (4103) (pistos) (Click word study of pistos) means trustworthy, dependable, reliable. Tychicus was faithful in duty to himself and to others. He was a man of true fidelity, which is a word we don't here much in our society any more but which is defined as "faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty and implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty." Fidelity is the degree to which an electronic device (CD, radio, television) accurately reproduces its effect (as sound or picture). Think about that for a moment!

Minister (1249) (diakonos from diako = run on errands) (Click for in depth word study on the related word diakonia) is not used in the technical sense of deacon, but in the sense of servant, Tychicus being a lovely illustration of one serving the Lord in a lowly place.

WILL MAKE EVERYTHING KNOWN TO YOU: panta gnorisei (3SFAI) humin:

Everything (pas) - all without exception. Certainly speaks of everything one needs to know to fight the good fight of faith (so probably not the results of the Olympiad).

Known (1107) (gnorizo from ginosko = acquire information by whatever means but often with the implication of personal involvement or experience) means to cause information to be known by someone, communicating things before unknown or reasserting things already known.

John MacArthur - Satan also tempts us to become discouraged when we see other believers going through times of trial. Realizing the Ephesians’ deep concern about his imprisonment, Paul told them, “I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory” (Eph. 3:13). He tempts us to give up when we cannot see results from our service to the Lord. When the Galatian believers faced that problem, Paul told them, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary”(Gal. 6:9). (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)

Ephesians 6:22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: on epempsa (1SAAI) pros humas eis auto touto hina gnote (2PAAS) ta peri hemon kai parakalese (3SAAS) tas kardias humon.

Amplified: I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may console and cheer and encourage and strengthen your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love joined with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: I am sending him to you for just this purpose. He will let you know how we are, and he will encourage you. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: I am sending him to you bringing this letter for that purpose, so that you will know exactly how we are and may take fresh heart: (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: whom I am sending to you for this same purpose in order that you might come to know our circumstances and in order that he might encourage your hearts.  (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)

Young's Literal: whom I did send unto you for this very thing, that ye might know the things concerning us, and that he might comfort your hearts.

I HAVE SENT HIM TO YOU FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE, SO THAT YOU MAY KNOW ABOUT US, AND THAT HE MAY COMFORT YOUR HEARTS: on epempsa (1SAAI) pros humas eis auto touto hina gnote (2PAAS) ta peri hemon kai parakalese (3SAAS) tas kardias humon:

Know (1097) (ginosko) means to know experientially. The basic meaning is taking in knowledge in regard to something or someone, knowledge that goes beyond the merely factual. By extension, the term frequently was used of a special relationship between the person who knows and the object of the knowledge. It was often used of the intimate relationship between husband and wife and between God and His people.

What a paradox -- Paul, the one imprisoned in chains sought to comfort others!

Comfort (3870) (parakaleo [word study] from para = beside + kaleo = call) conveys the basic idea of calling one alongside to help or give aid. Because a person can be called alongside for many purposes, the word has a wide range of meanings including to entreat, appeal to, summon, comfort, exhort, or encourage. Later parakaleo came to mean exhorting, admonishing, encouraging, call to one’s side, call to one’s aid. Our English word "encourage" means “with heart.” To comfort or encourage in a sense is to give them new heart. Shallow sympathy makes people feel worse-true spiritual encouragement makes them feel better. It brings out the best in people.

In classic Greek parakaleo was used of exhorting troops about to go into battle. Sometimes, as in the present context, parakaleo conveys the idea of comfort but always with the idea of enabling a person to meet some difficult situation with confidence and with gallantry.

One of the Greek historians uses parakaleo in a most interesting and suggestive way. There was a Greek regiment which had lost heart and was utterly dejected. The general sent a leader to talk to this regimen to such purpose that courage was reborn and a body of dispirited men became fit again for heroic action. Paul's purpose in sending Tychicus is that the readers might be filled with courage enabling them to cope with any situation.

Your Hearts (2588) (kardia-word study)- Not your heads. Not your mind as much as your heart, the seat of emotions, feelings, the "control center" of our being.

Blaikie writes that "This serves to explain the absence of personal remembrances, allusions, and messages in the Epistle. Tychicus, who had his full confidence, would tell them all by word of mouth. The concluding words show that it was not to gratify any mere personal feeling that Paul directed Tychicus to make this communication; but knowing how much they felt for him, he believed it would be a comfort to hear how he fared. To pagans the idea of captivity was always dolorous and dreadful; it was well for them to learn how Christians could glory in tribulations (Rom. 5:3). Tychicus, the beloved brother, was evidently well fitted to apply to the Ephesians this comforting view of his state. (The Pulpit Commentary)