The apostle Paul speaks more highly of none of his fellow-workers than he does of Titus.  Although Titus is not mentioned in Acts, this may be because he was a primary source for Luke’s information, for he joined Paul earlier than Luke.  We see that he was with Paul when he went to conference with the apostles at Jerusalem.  “Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took also Titus with me.”  Galatians 2:1.  We also learn from this passage that he was a Gentile, or possibly a Hellenized Jew.  “Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.”  Galatians 2:3.

We read in Acts 11:20-21 of a number of Greeks (Grecians) who believed at Antioch in Syria.  “But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.”  Then, in Acts 11:27-30, we read of this trip to Jerusalem.  “And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.  Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.  Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.  This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”  Coming so closely after the mention of Greeks or Hellenists believing in Antioch, it appears quite likely that Titus was one of this number.

Titus is mentioned repeatedly and we learn the most about him from the epistle of II Corinthians, and apparently was sent to them by Paul on two separate occasions.  On his second journey, Paul spent two years at Ephesus (Acts 19:10,) and it appears that from there he wrote the first epistle to the Corinthians.  It seems that after that Paul sent Titus ahead to Corinth to see how the Corinthians had responded to his letter so he could be forewarned before Paul himself arrived at Corinth.  He apparently had told Titus of the route he was planning to take on his way from Ephesus to Corinth and was hoping to meet Titus at Troas.  However, we read in II Corinthians 2:12-13, “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.”  We can clearly see how important Titus was to Paul by how upset Paul was to not find Titus here as he expected.  Paul’s mind was soon set at ease, however, as we read in II Corinthians 7:5-7.  “For indeed when we came to Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.  Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.”  He further speaks of Titus’ report on the state of the Corinthians in 7:13-15, “Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort.  And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit had been refreshed by you all.  For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed.  But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true.  And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.”  So it seems that Titus’ work with the Corinthians had turned out very well indeed.

Titus’ work among the Corinthians was not completed here, however.  We read that Paul sent him back to Corinth in 8:6, “So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.”

As mentioned earlier, Titus had been with Paul and Barnabas in Jerusalem.  As such, he was part of the mission to take money to the poor in Judea.  Thus, Paul sent him to Corinth with a new mission: to make a collection similar to the one made then.  Making such a collection could be a difficult task, for the Corinthians were very wealthy, and Paul always sought to avoid the appearance of taking advantage of them.  Thus we can see his confidence in Titus in sending him to do such a difficult job.  But we read of Titus’ attitude in II Corinthians 8:16-17, “But thanks be to God Who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.  For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord.”  Paul further expresses his confidence in Titus by appealing to his conduct as proof that Paul never tried to exploit the wealth of the Corinthians.  “I urged Titus, and sent our brother with him.  Did Titus take advantage of you?  Did we not walk in the same spirit?  Did we not walk in the same steps?”  II Corinthians 12:18.  From Titus’ behavior and Paul’s confidence in him, we can see why Paul said through the Holy Spirit in II Corinthians 8:23, “If anyone enquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you.”

We learn from this epistle of Titus that after Paul’s release from prison in Rome, he journeyed with Titus to Crete, where Paul left him to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city.” (Titus 1:5)  It seems that Titus was similar to what we might call today a “trouble-shooter.”  Paul sent him to do the difficult tasks of setting unruly groups of believers in order.

Titus was to join Paul later in Nicopolis.  “When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.”  Titus 3:12.  From Nicopolis he probably went to Dalmatia, as we read in 2 Timothy 4:10: “For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica,—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.”  Perhaps he was to do the same work there that he had done in Crete: set things in order and ordain elders.

The epistle to Titus was one of the latest written.  It fits the following structure of Paul’s latest books:

A.  I Timothy.  Organization.  Instruction to leaders and for choosing leaders.

B.  II Timothy.  What to do when the organization fails.  Discipleship.  Passing on the truth from one person to the next.

A.  Titus.  Organization.  Instruction to leaders and for choosing leaders.

B.  Philemon.  What to do when relationships among believers fail.  Forgiveness.  Accepting our fellow believers in spite of wrongs done against us.

If we divide Paul’s books into periods, early (Acts period) books, prison epistles, and later (post-Acts period) books, this belongs to the final division.  It followed Paul’s release after his two years in prison in Rome (Acts 28:31,) but preceded his second imprisonment there, which we learn about from II Timothy.  This book was probably written around 67 A.D., and thus is the second-to-the-last book of Paul preceding II Timothy.

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