God’s Word for You
Colossians 4:7-8 Tychicus will tell you
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, November 16, 2019
The closing verses of the letter introduce Tychicus and Onesimus (Colossians 4:7-9). Paul sends greetings from the Jews who are with him (Colossians 4:10-11) and the Gentiles (Colossians 4:12-14), and he asks for his own greetings to be passed along to the church at Laodicea and the one meeting at the house of Nympha (Colossians 4:15-16). Finally, he greets Archippus (the pastor of the Colossian church, see Philemon 2), he signs the letter, and then closes with a blessing.
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a beloved brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose: that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts.
Tychicus was the carrier of this letter, and also of Ephesians and Philemon. This letter and the one to Philemon were probably written and delivered together. Tychicus was a member of the Colossians congregation, and he worked with Paul in Rome during the Roman imprisonment. Paul trusted him, and perhaps that’s the only real commendation he needs with us or anyone else. He was sent to carry news about Paul, so that the Colossians would not worry too much and would know how he was getting along.
The name Tychicus means “Lucky.” It was used by the Greeks of a man favored by the gods and might reflect his parents’ beliefs at the time of his birth; they regarded his conception and birth as fortunate for them. His own faith, however, was turned to the Lord Jesus Christ. He became “a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.” The concept of luck runs contrary to the providence of God. Our heavenly Father “is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). We pray for this with the simple words, “Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3), and we confess our faith in his preservation in the creed:
“I believe that God still preserves me by richly and daily providing clothing and shoes, food and drink, property and home, spouse and children, land, cattle, and all I own, and all I need to keep my body and life. God also preserves me by defending me from all evil. All this God does only because he is my good and merciful Father in heaven, and not because I have earned or deserved it. For all this I ought to thank and praise, to serve and obey him” (Apostles’ Creed, Luther’s explanation of the First Article).
Is it proper for a Christian to say “Good luck” to a comrade? We live in a culture where this saying has lost all connection to pagan gods, and in a private conversation it might possibly be said if the parties understand that God is the one who gives good fortune and watches over our future condition as well as our present circumstances. If it is understood to mean “God bless you,” it can be said. Paul said to King Agrippa, “I consider myself fortunate (i.e., blessed) to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews” (Acts 26:2). Also, when God blessed Leah with her fifth son, she said, “What good fortune!” and named her child Gad which can mean either “good fortune” or “a troop.” The Greek translation of Genesis uses tyche as the word for “good fortune,” which is the same element we find here in the name Tychicus. That being said, it’s probably wiser to avoid “good luck,” since there are still people who can misunderstand and assume it’s a reference to Fate.
May God so direct the events of the world that you are blessed in every way, which is what he has promised: “In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
Pastor Timothy Smith