Julie Lyles Carr is filling in for Erica this week! Today she’s talking about Tychicus in Ephesians 6. Here’s a snippet!
I was really struck with Tychicus’ ability to operate, if you will, as a communications director of sorts for Paul. He was the person who was able to take what Paul was teaching and the experiences that Paul was having and what other churches were going through. And Paul trusted him to be a bridge to the next community of Christians to allow them to know how things were going. Tychicus performs this over and over in a very trustworthy manner.
Click PLAY to listen | Full transcription below.
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Erica Parkerson: Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, come to me and I WILL give you rest. This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So take a deep breath, and let’s get started.
Julie Lyles Carr: Welcome to the Bible for busy people, part of the Purposely podcast network. I’m Julie Lyles Carr, and I’m so honored to be guest hosting this week for Erica. And she’ll be back with you soon. I know she’s been taking you through the book of Acts and you’ll be returning to that, but I am just delighted to be able to share some thoughts and some things that the Lord’s really pressing on my heart and hopefully will resonate with yours as we work together in reading his word. We’re gonna jump today to Ephesians 6, and we’re gonna read a length of, of passage here, and I want you to be listening for maybe something you haven’t heard before. So just keep your ears tuned up just a little bit, because part of this passage is going to be really familiar, but there’s a little something I wanna laser in on in this passage.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord,” starting in verse 10 in chapter 6 of Ephesians “and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground. And after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the devil. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me that whenever I open my mouth words may be given me that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should. Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord will tell you everything so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. I am sending him to you for this very purpose that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. Peace to the brothers and love with faith from God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace, to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”
Now if you’re like me, most of that passage is very familiar. So I’m gonna call out a little something maybe you haven’t noticed before. Now I live in Austin, Texas, and there is an iconic bridge here that you may have seen because whenever I see pictures of Austin, this is often the image that pops up. It’s a bridge that has a rust-colored hue to it. And it’s this arch, it’s beautiful and it spans lake Austin. And from the point at which that bridge spans, you can see to downtown Austin. And you can also see the Hills of the hill country here in central Texas. That bridge I learned is called the Pennybacker bridge. And I wanted to understand why it was called the Pennybacker bridge. And as it turns out, it’s because of the architect who designed it. And he’s a fascinating guy in what he was able to accomplish, what he was able to achieve, and the project that that bridge was. Now today that bridge is more important than ever because Austin is a town that has this river that runs through it, that separates the two halves of the city. And if that bridge did not exist, I can tell you, there are all kinds of parts of Austin that would be even more difficult to get to, even with some of the traffic challenges that we have in general.
Now, the reason I bring up that bridge is because in this passage of scripture that we’ve just talked about in Ephesians six, who you might have missed before in all of the conversation about putting on the armor of faith, which is so powerful, but is this name in verse 21, Tychicus. “Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord will tell you everything so that you may also know how I am and what I am doing.” Tychicus shows up about four times in the New Testament; he was a close friend and coworker of Paul’s. And as I did some further research on him for my Bible study called The Footnotes, I was really struck with Tychicus’ ability to operate, if you will, as a communications director of sorts for Paul. He was the person who was able to take what Paul was teaching and the experiences that Paul was having and what other churches were going through. And Paul trusted him to be a bridge to the next community of, of Christians to allow them to know how things were going. Tychicus performs this over and over in a very trustworthy manner. He is very faithful to connect all of these people who have faith in Jesus, but because of geography because of communication limitations and all of those kinds of things in the first century, Tychicus is the guy who helps this group feel connected, feel cohesive as a family of believers because of his willingness to go and to communicate and to love. It’s so powerful to think of Tychicus as this bridge between communities of faith.
You know, I feel like over the last couple of years, it has been difficult. We have seen divisions in our family of faith, probably more strongly than we ever have before. Lots of opinions, dividing, different groups, lots of different ideas, different churches and different parts of the country that are handling certain things differently than other churches and other parts of the country. And I don’t have the answer for all of that, but I do know that all of us have the ability to be bridges to others. Bridges as reminders, again, of the love of Jesus. Bridges, as those who are bringing peace and encouragement to one another, rather than those who seek to divide. It’s something I’ve had to check with in my own heart. Am I doing things that, am I speaking things, am I holding an attitude that brings division? Or am I operating like Tychicus as this bridge to other people, as this reminder of the goodness of God and of his faithfulness to us and of the importance of us walking as best we can in our flawed human ways with all of our opinions and all of our emotions, but as best we can. Are we walking in a unified manner and am I contributing to that unity? Or am I detracting from that unity? I don’t think it’s any mistake that in a passage that talks about putting on the full armor of God, Paul gives us this example in this trusted brother, friend, coworker of his, in the kingdom of Tychicus who connects with all of the best. He connects in truth, he connects in steadfastness, he connects in love, he connects in encouragement. All of those kinds of things, seek to strengthen our bond with one another through Jesus Christ and push out the divisiveness that can sneak in, push out the dislocation from each other that sometimes we can experience. I love that about Tychicus, and it reminds me that as best I can, I wanna be a bridge. I wanna be a bridge to believers, I wanna be a bridge of unity. So I wanna encourage that to you today, as we reflect on this passage in Ephesians. The Bible for Busy People, we try to do it in under seven minutes and I’m excited to see you back here next time here on the Purposely podcast network.
Erica Parkerson: Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.