Friday, May 13, 2022
We got the first call at around 7:30 in the morning. I was already at the office when Denise called me. Our son Josh was on his way home from work to take his wife Brittany to the hospital. It was the day of the birth of our sixth grandchild. (We now have eleven.) All day long we checked in for updates, and when the time was getting close, we went up to the hospital to wait for the big moment. Twelve hours after the first phone call Josh came out to the waiting room with a picture and announced that he had another son. His name is Liam Chandler, and all eight pounds twelve ounces of him are perfect.
As we waited at the hospital, one of Brittany’s best friends, who is also a nurse and also pregnant, became the messenger of news during the delivery process. That’s kind of interesting when I think of it, because it makes her the “soon to deliver delivery delivery person”. Anyway, each time there was a development in the delivery, she would depart the delivery room and deliver the news to us. She became our conduit of connection to our children. She told us how Brittany was doing, how Josh was doing, and how much time was left. She was such an encouragement to us. She was such a servant.
Ephesians 6:21-22 “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.”
Tychicus was such a person. Paul calls him a dear brother and faithful servant. Tychicus had accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey, and delivered two of his letters to churches – this one to Ephesus and the letter to the Colossians. But he was much more than a delivery man. Tychicus was the personal representative of Paul to the people of the churches. When Tychicus spoke, he shared more than information – he shared the heart of Paul. When Tychicus spoke, people became emotionally attached to Paul because he was so deeply connected to Paul.
Paul told the people at Ephesus that when Tychicus shared everything that was going on in Paul’s life, they would know not only what he was doing but also how he was. In fact, Paul said the very purpose he was sending Tychicus was so that the people would know how he was. This is so important. True friendship and intimacy is based on intimate knowledge of a person not on just the knowledge of what they are doing. Most of our conversations with people are pretty shallow and focus on activity. Deep relationships focus on the heart, and relationships like that are the most meaningful and fulfilling.
The reason I emphasized the word know in the last paragraph is because it is the key to the whole point I am making. Jesus used the same word when He described His relationship with us in John 15:5 – “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Twice he uses the word in this verse. Once to describe the lack of knowledge of a servant, and once to describe the depth of knowledge of a friend. The contrast is significant. The servant doesn’t even know the master’s business, but the friend has had everything revealed to Him. We are the friends of Jesus, and everything that He learned from the Father has been made known to us. Not just through the passing on of information, but through the experience of the life of Christ. In the prayer of Jesus in John 17, Jesus says, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” WOW! The same love that God has for His Son is found in us because the Son lives in us. Hallelujah!
It’s not the knowledge of what someone is doing that determines the depth of friendship, it’s the experience of who the person is. That’s what Tychicus brought to the people at Ephesus – the experience of Paul’s life. That’s what Brittany’s friend brought to us at the hospital 12 years ago. That’s what each one of us has the opportunity to do with others. It’s what true fellowship in the body of Christ is all about. So ask yourself, “Am I that kind of a friend, or am I just a delivery person?” Delivery people, in the scope of relationship information, are usually called gossips. Friends bring others into the experience of the people they love and encourage them. Let’s choose to be friends like Tychicus.