I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. (ESV)
In this verse Paul is talking about Tychicus, his faithful friend. Tychicus was with Paul in Rome, where Paul was imprisoned. Now Tychicus is being sent to the church at Ephesus. He brings with him this very letter that we are reading. When we read the Epistles in the New Testament we are actually reading letters. Paul has written this letter to the church at Ephesus, and Tychicus is the one who is delivering the letter.
Paul is sending Tychicus. This had to be bittersweet for Paul. He valued Tychicus as a faithful brother. And he also needed companionship as well as provisions while he was in prison. The Roman prison system did not include food, cable tv and a work out room. If you had no friends you would die fairly quickly in a Roman prison.
As difficult as it would be for Paul to say goodbye to Tychicus, it is evident that Paul's love for the church is greater than his concern for his own personal needs. Tychicus would deliver details of how Paul was doing. Additionally, he would encourage their hearts. How would the hearts of the people in Ephesus be encouraged? By the very words of this letter! Paul gives instruction that would eventually be accepted as the very Word of God. There is nothing more encouraging to true believers in Jesus Christ than to hear the Word of God.
Be a faithful friend. Deliver the truth of God's Word to someone who needs to hear it. You also can be a Tychicus.
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