Ephesians 6:21-24 (click here for passage)
This ‘pearl’ of an epistle concludes with a ‘pearl’ of an ending. See in it:
- A remarkable loyalty (21, 22): ‘’Tychicus’’ was not Paul. He was not nearly so well known as Paul. But he played his part lovingly and responsibly. He did not get to shine ‘centre-stage’, but he shone in the shadows. The important thing is that he was a bright light, and he didn’t hide what he had under a bucket. Not everyone will stand in the spotlight, but everyone can be spotted as a light! You may never become ‘famous’ in the Christian world, but if you can play ‘Tychicus’ to someone else’s ‘Paul’, that’s a big deal. If you can truly be regarded as a ‘’faithful servant’’; if there is someone who regards you as a ‘’dear brother’’ (or sister); if there are people you ‘’encourage’’, that is no small matter. The job Tychicus was entrusted with may seem mundane, but it was important. It needed doing well. I thank God for those who are willing to pick up jobs that don’t dazzle and do them without fanfare. Where would the church be without them?
- An intelligent relationship (21, 22): While nosiness into the affairs of others is not a welcome trait, fellowship (sharing the same thing) demands a certain transparency from each of us. Paul had been asking the Ephesian Christians to pray for him (18-20). If people are to pray intelligently, they need to know how we are and what we are doing. It may not be wise or helpful to divulge everything that is going on. What to say, when to say it, and just how much to share in any given moment is a judgment call. But to truly experience ‘fellowship’ with you, I have to be willing to let you into my world. It is at the heart of Christian fellowship that we know and are known. Authentic relationships are not built on hiding and lies. One of the ways we receive encouragement is by hearing how the people we pray for are getting on. When we see and hear answers to prayers in their circumstances our spirits are buoyed.
- An inexhaustible supply (23, 24): You repeatedly see in Paul a strong desire for the churches under his influence to grow spiritually. ‘Ephesians’ closes with what is essentially a prayer for the recipients of his letter. He has asked for their prayers. As we have already seen, he prayed for them; big prayers! His closing prayer is for qualities such as ‘’Peace…and love with faith…’’ Such characteristics can only flow from God the Father and His Son Jesus. They are marks of ‘’Grace’’. So that is why Paul prays. He is asking for something only God can do. When He does it, there is ‘’glory’’ to God ‘’in the church and in Christ Jesus…’’ (3:21). We add our own ‘’Amen’’ to that.
Prayer: Lord I ask that you will form my life into a pearl. Make me beautiful for you.