Whenever I have reason to visit a graveyard, I’m particularly interested to read what is carved on the stones, by way of a short epitaph on the life of the person whose body lies there beneath the ground. Sometimes they’re witty, sometimes profound, sometimes generous and occasionally a beautiful commendation of a godly life, well lived.
These words of Paul were not an epitaph to a man who had died, but a commendation to a much loved Christian man who was serving an apostle of God, in order to be a blessing to the people of God in Ephesus. But I can well imagine that if Paul, at a later time, had the opportunity to write on a stone over the grave of Tychicus, this is exactly what he would have said. “Dear brother and servant in the Lord.”
As I read these words, I found myself being challenged by their powerful simplicity and began to ask myself questions about what it might really mean to be a ‘dear brother’ to all my fellow believers. And then I dwelt on the importance of being a servant and remembered afresh how the best example of being a servant in Scripture is seen in the life of Jesus. He came not to lift himself up, even though he was the Son of God, but to serve others so that one day in eternity they will be lifted up to a place of blessing in glory.
Tychicus had clearly learned well what it means to be a follower and servant of Jesus, so much so that two thousand years later we are still reading about him in these words of Scripture through Paul’s amazing commendation on his life. May each of us be challenged to live out our lives so that perhaps one day, when we have passed on people will think about our Christian character which made us what we are, rather than any achievements we might have been privileged to do. Everything we have ever done for Him has only ever been possible by His grace. It is to Him that the glory goes.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for this powerful testimony to the life of Tychicus. Help me, Lord, to so live my life that people will recognise You in me and be blessed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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