There are no insignificant people in God’s Kingdom, and there is no insignificant work. ‘’Tychicus’’ and ‘’Onesimus’’ are not the best known figures in the New Testament. We have a little more information on Onesimus because of the letter to ’Philemon’. We know that he was a runaway slave who met Paul in prison and was converted. But in comparison with Paul these two men were not high profile. Paul, however, valued them and the contribution they made. Paul’s appreciation of people shines through his letters. You don’t get any sense of hierarchical thinking. Paul, who wrote about the church as a body, was appreciative of the role played by each part. (I once heard someone comment that a part of the body having no work may soon become ‘a grumbling appendix’!! There are to be no redundant or unemployed members in Christ’s church.)
It is believed that Tychicus was the ‘postman’ who delivered Paul’s letter to the Colossians. In the previous paragraph we saw how Paul earnestly requested the prayers of the Colossian Christians. It is helpful if people can pray intelligently, so Paul sent key information with Tychicus and Onesimus. He wanted his friends to know how he was. He wanted to assist them in their prayers: ‘’My good friend Tychicus will tell you all about me…I’ve sent him to you so that you would know how things are with us…Together they’ll bring you up-to-date on everything that has been going on here.’’ The Message. This may not seem like a glittering assignment, but it was important.
The other purpose for sending Tychicus was: ‘’…and that he may encourage your hearts.’’ (8b). You may feel that you can do very little for God, but everyone can be an encourager. There is endless scope for those who are willing to take up the work of encouraging others. Who of us can carry on without it? Who could you encourage today? There are so many ways in which this can be done.
It was said of Hudson Taylor, I believe, that he was ‘’a man small enough for God to use.’’ He was due to speak once at a meeting, and the convener, no doubt meaning well, gave him an impressive build up. It is said that Hudson Taylor came to the pulpit and simply commented, ‘’I am but the small servant of an illustrious Master’’, or words to that effect.
In the church, some people will become well known, such as Paul was. Others, like Tychicus and Onesimus, will be in the ‘support cast’. They won’t win any ‘oscars’ for their performances. They will not be lauded as ‘stars’. But their work is vitally important. Whether well-known or anonymous, remain small in your own eyes, and look to serve and glorify your infinitely big God.
‘’There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.’’
Prayer: Lord God, help me to be humble and usable before you.