All my state shall Tychicus declare to you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord:…
Though the apostle had but few friends at this time in Rome to comfort him in his "bonds," he spares two of them to comfort the Colossians.
I. THE PERSONS WHO CARRY THE EPISTLE TO COLOSSAE. Tychicus and Onesimus.
(1) His history. He was a native of Asia Minor (Acts 20:4), and probably of Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:12). He accompanied the apostle at the close of his third missionary journey (Acts 20:4). He was now again with the apostle at Rome, near the end of the first Roman captivity; and he appears again with him at the very end of the apostle's life, when the apostle is sending him to Crete and to Ephesus (Titus 3:12; 2 Timothy 4:12). The name Tychicus appears on Roman inscriptions as well as on inscriptions in Asia Minor.
(2) His character and work. He receives three titles of distinction and praise.
(a) A beloved brother, in relation to the whole Christian Church;
(b) a faithful minister, in relation to his evangelistic services to the apostle (Acts 20:4);
(c) a fellow servant in the Lord, a cooperator with the apostle in Christian labours.
2. Onesimus. This was doubtless the runaway slave of Philemon, whose conversion is recorded in the Epistle to that Colossian brother.
(1) He was a native of Colossae - "who is one of you."
(2) His changed character - "the faithful and beloved brother."
(a) He was lately unfaithful, now he is faithful; he was lately an object of contempt and dislike, he is now an object of love.
(b) The repentance of a sinner is a fact to be gratefully recorded. His former sins ought to be no disparagement to his present standing and repute. "Where God forgives, men should not impute."
(c) The apostle is not ashamed of a poor slave, and commends him to the love of the Church.
II. THE DESIGN OF THE SENDING OF TYCHICUS AND ONESIMUS TO COLOSSAE. "Whom I have sent unto you for this very purpose, that ye may know our estate, and that he may comfort your hearts." There are two objects.
1. To make known the affairs of the apostle and of the Roman Church. It was not necessary, therefore, that he should give them any information about himself or the cause of Christ in Rome. The Colossians would hear all by word of mouth.
2. To comfort the hearts of the Colossians. They would comfort them
(1) by their very presence;
(2) by bringing the Epistles from Rome;
(3) by their news concerning the apostle;
(4) by their practical exhortations, enforcing the doctrine of the Epistle and the duty of perseverance in faith and grace to the end. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: