“All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, {who is} a beloved fellowservant in the Lord.”

“All my state,”
Literally:  “All the things about me Tychicus will make known to you”–As a prisoner at Rome

          MY ESTATE:  (Grk.–ta kat’ eme)-Literally:  “the things about me.”  This same Greek phrase (ta kata)–is used elsewhere by Paul and is translated in several ways:  it is rendered as “cause” in Acts 25:14; as “my affairs”  in Eph.6:21; and in Phil. 1:12 it is rendered as, “the things which happened unto me.” 

          TYCHICUS:  (Grk.–Tuchikos)–His name means, “fortuitous” or “fortunate.”  He  is mentioned five times in the N.T.  He was a native of the Roman province of Asia, of which Ephesus was the capital. Tycfhicus accompanied Paul into that region at the end of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey            (Acts 20:4).

         Tychicus well knew Paul’s zeal and perseverance in preaching the Gospel, his sufferings on that account, his success in converting both Jews and Gentiles, and the converts which were made in Caesar's household; he could give these to the Colossians in ample detail, and some of them it would not have been prudent to commit to writing.
          It is said that this Tychicus was one of the seventy disciples, and was afterwards a pastor in Chalcedon. However, he was used here by Paul as a messenger to Colosse, (and to Ephesus also, see Eph. 6:21.   He also carried the letter to the Colossians, and probably the second epistle to Timothy, II Tim.  4:12. Paul also proposed to send him to Crete to succeed Titus, Titus 3:12. He was high in the confidence of Paul, but it is not known when he was converted, or why he was now at Rome. 

            MAKE KNOWN:  (Grk.–gnōrisei)–Literally:  “disclose.” 


Paul gives us three commendations regarding the character of Tychicus.  Paul’s statements regarding Tychicus is almost word-for-word with what he said in Eph. 6:21f.

COMMENDATION #1:  He Was a “Beloved Brother”

{who is} a beloved fellowservant in the Lord.”
Literally:  “the beloved brother and faithful minister”– the same description is given of him in Eph. 6:21.

He was a “brother”  in Christ, being a partaker of the same grace, and in the same spiritual relation; and “beloved” of God, and Christ, of all the churches and saints that knew him, and especially by Paul. 

COMMENDATION #2:  He Was a “Faithful Minister”
He was also a “minister” of the Gospel, a preacher of Jesus Christ, and a “faithful” one to Christ, to His Gospel, and the souls of men.  Than this a greater character reference cannot be given: and though Paul was endued with such superior gifts, grace, and usefulness.

COMMENDATION #3:  He Was a “Fellow Servant”
            Paul calls this ministering brother a “fellow servant in the Lord.” He had been given a commission to preach from the same Lord, and having the same Gospel entrusted with him, and was engaged in the same good work with the same ends in view; that is, the glory of Christ, and the good of souls.
           All three of these designations were “in the Lord” (Eph. 6:21).  Understand that in real life, Tychicus was neither a slave or  natural brother to Paul.


“Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts.”

            “Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose,
            Literally:  “whom I sent to you for this very thing”—That is, to relate to them his affairs both
temporal and spiritual. 

         SENT:  (Grk.–epemsa)–Literally:  “I am sending.”  Paul has put this in the Greek epistolary aorist (past) tense.  Tychicus was not yet sent at the time of writing, but had already been sent at the time of the reading of this epistle.  Paul sent him for three purposes:

PURPOSE #1:  Tychicus Was to Inform the Church of Paul’s Condition (“estate”)

“that he might know your estate,”
Literally:  “that He know the things about you”–
Literally: “that he may know your state”: answering to v. 7. But the oldest manuscripts and the old Latin versions, “that YE may know OUR state.” However, that reading seems likely to have crept in from Eph. 6:22.  Tychicus made known how God had used Paul’s imprisonment to advance the gospel message (Phil. 1:12):

PURPOSE #2:  Tychicus Was to Determine the Spiritual State of the Colossians

“that he might know your estate”
Literally:  “That he may come to know the things about you”– That he might know your     estate, and comfort your hearts.  This is really a mis-translation of this Greek phrase.  The       correct rendering would read:  “that YE may know OUR affairs.”

           The correct reading would say that Tychicus was sent to them, not to know their affairs, but with Onesimus, to carry this epistle and make Paul’s state known to them, and comfort their hearts by the good news which he brought.  The next verse confirms this meaning.
         As it reads here in the KJV,  Tychicus was sent to Colossae not only to carry letters, but to determine the condition of the churches in the area., and to instruct and comfort them. He came as an evangelist to help them on.  Paul was anxious to know the state of the Colossians, on account of the seductions to which they were exposed from false teachers; owing to which he had “great conflict for” them (2:1).

PURPOSE #3:  Tychicus Was to Comfort the Colossians

“and comfort your hearts.”–Literally: “and that he might comfort your hearts”—Distressed as you are by my imprisonment, as well as by your own trials.

The Colossian church had themselves suffered:  from confusion and dissension brought about by heretical teaching of the Gnostics.   Here we see an important lesson:  Encouragement and comfort come from concerned and involved friends and from a thorough knowledge of the facts.  Again I say:  “Be people of the Book.”

“With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you.  They shall make known unto you all things which
{are done} here.”

From here and on to the end of the chapter, Paul mentions several other “spiritual servants” of the Lord.

            “With Onesimus”–He was the slave mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon (Philemon 1:25), but Paul calls him “a brother beloved.” 

             ONESIMUS:  (Grk.–Onēsimos)–He was traveling with Tychicus and probably       served as a co-bearer of the letter with Tychicus.  Paul praises him on a par with Tychicus, runaway slave though he is.


The name of Onesimus occurs only twice in the Biblical record (here and in Philemon 10).  He had been an unsaved slave of a Christian master (Philemon.).  After somehow wronging his master, he ran away to Rome, where he encountered Paul in prison.  Through the ministry of Paul, he became a believer.  Following this, Paul sent him back to Philemon, probably under the custody of Tychicus, who anyhow was going to Colosse with Paul’s epistles. 

Paul describes Onesimus in four ways:

Paul Describes Him as a“Faithful”

“a faithful and beloved brother,”
Literally:  “the faithful and beloved) brother”-Rather,  “the faithful brother.”
  Onesimus had been faith to Paul at Rome where he was known for his life of faith and for his faithful service to Paul.

Paul Describes Him as a “Brother”
He had become a spiritual brother to Paul, Timothy and the other associates in Rome, and to the       church at Colosse, and even to Philemon, his master (Philemon 16).

Paul Describes Him as a “Beloved”
He had become “beloved” to Paul and his associates, and even by the church there in Rome.  Now Paul wants both Philemon and the believers there in Colosse to give such Christian love to him.

Paul Describes Him as One of the Colossian Church

“who is one of you.”–
 Literally:  “who is of you—This really denotes more than just his geographical origin.  In Paul’s viewpoint, Onesimus was now a member of the church at Colosse.

         This may mean either, “who is from your city,” or, “one of your own people and nation.”  This is not said as some sort of reproach to Colosse for having such a man, but as a privilege to the church in Colossae to give a warm welcome to this returning converted slave and to treat him as a brother as Paul argues to Philemon.
          Onesimus had formerly been a servant (i.e., a slave) of Philemon’s, and an inhabitant of Colosse. Onesimus had recently been converted; and Paul felt towards him the warm attachment of a brother, (Philemon 1:16). In what way Paul became acquainted with Onesimus we have not been told.  See the Epistle to Philemon.

            They shall make known unto you all things which {are done} here.”
           Literally:  “They will make known to you all the things here.”—Greek, “all the things    here.”

That is, The things relating to Paul himself and the state of the church in Rome; all things which are being done here at Rome, either to him in prison, or in the church; and since there are two messengers (which was a proper number to bear a testimony), they ought to be received.  As the Epistle which Paul sent was designed not only for them, but to be a part of the volume of revealed truth, he wrote only those things which would be of permanent interest. Other matters he left for those who carried the Epistle to communicate. It would also serve to give Tychicus and Onesimus more respectability in view of the church at Colossae, if he referred the church to them for information on important points.

Paul commences to name others who are with him there in Rome.  Notice that some are Jewish believers and some are Gentile believers, but united in the faith, and brothers of the faith.

“Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments:  if he come unto you, receive him:)”

“Aristarchus my fellowprisoner”
Literally:  “Aristarchus my fellow prisoner”—To learn more of Aristarchus, see Acts            19:29; 20:4; 27:2.  He may have been converted during Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.

           ARISTARCHUS:  (Grk.–Aristarchos)–His name means, “ruler of the dinner.” Aristarchus was a Jew of Thessalonica, and is mentioned in Acts 19:29; 20:4 as Paul's companion in his travels. In Acts 27:2, it is said that he accompanied Paul in his voyage to Rome, and from the passage before us it appears that he was there imprisoned with him.   

Because he held the same sentiments as Paul, and was united with him in his travels and labors, it does seem natural that he should be treated in the same manner. He, together with Gaius, had been seized in the tumult at Ephesus, and treated with violence; but he stuck with Paaul in all his troubles, and attended him in all his dangers. Nothing further is certainly known of him, though the Greeks say that he was bishop of Assamea in Syria, and was beheaded with Paul at Rome, under Nero.           

          FELLOW PRISONER: (Grk.–sunaichmalōtos)–The Greek for “fellow   prisoner” is literally, “fellow-captive,” an image from prisoners taken in warfare.    

            Paul uses it of Epaphras in Philemon 1:23, but whether of actual voluntary imprisonment or of spiritual imprisonment, and like “fellow-soldier” (Grk.–sustratiōtēn) in Phil. 2:25; Philemon 1:2 we do not know. Abbott argues for a literal imprisonment and it is possible that some of Paul's co-workers) voluntarily shared imprisonment with him by turns.
            Aristarchus and Epaphras are mentioned as “saluters” in this epistle, and in that to Philemon written at the same time; but here Aristarchos is said to be a prisoner, and Epaphras not.  As Aristarchos had been a zealous and affectionate adherent to Paul, and followed him in all his journeys, ministering to him in prison, and assisting him in preaching the Gospel in Rome, he might have been imprisoned on this account. 

“and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas”      
Literally:  “also Mark, the cousin of Barnabas,”—This is the same John Mark who had been rejected by Paul because of his defection in  the work (Acts 15:36-39), but now he is cordially commended because he had obviously changed and made good. 

The ground of the disagreement was, that Barnabas wished to take him, probably on account of relationship, with them in their travels; Paul was unwilling to take him, because he had, on one occasion, departed from them. They afterward became reconciled, and Paul mentions Mark here with affection. He sent for him when he sent Tychicus to Ephesus, and it seems that he had come to him in obedience to his request, II Tim. 4:11.. Mark had probably become more decided, and Paul did not harbor unkind and unforgiving feelings towards any one.

“touching whom ye received commandments”
Literally:  “about whom you received orders”–Not concerning Barnabas, but Mark, concerning whom they had had letters of commendation, either from Barnabas or from Paul, to this purpose:

         What these directions, whether verbally or by writing, were and how they were communicated, is not known. They may have been regarding some occasion when Paul was with them. He refers to it here in order that they might know for sure whom he was talking about. it is possible that before the writing of this Epistle; or the “commandments” were given verbally by Tychicus, and accompanied this letter. The substance of these commandments was, “If he come unto you, receive him.”  
         Paul's rejection of Mark on his Second Missionary Journey, because he had turned back at Perga on the first journey (Acts 13:13; 15:37-39), had caused an alienation between Paul and Barnabas. It is obvious that Christian love had healed the breach; for here he implies his restored confidence in Mark, makes honorable allusion to Barnabas, and desires that those at Colosse who had regarded Mark in consequence of that past error with suspicion, should now "receive" him with kindness. 

“if he come unto you, receive him
Literally:  “If he comes to you, receive him”–For this was either the substance of those letters, or else what Paul now adds of his own so that they might more readily and honorably receive him, when he should come unto them.  Perhaps these churches knew that at one time Paul had refused to have Mark in his company (Acts 15:38), and hence would not have received him cordially without such a commendation.

In Philemon 1:24, Mark is mentioned as a “fellow-laborer” of Paul. It would seem probable, therefore, that he was not a prisoner. It could be that Paul is here implying that he was about to leave Rome, and he instructs the Colossians to receive Mark kindly. This instruction may have been necessary, as the Colossians may have been aware of the breach between Mark and Paul, and may have been inclined to regard him with suspicion. Obviously, Paul retained no malice toward Mark, and now commended, in the warmest manner, one from whom he was formerly constrained to separate.