“Trouble-Shooting With Titus”
The Book of Titus is of course one of Paul’s Pastoral letters, as they have come to be known, along with first and second Timothy. The context is that of planting and establishing a Church on the island of Crete which lies roughly speaking due west of Cyprus, another island in the Mediterranean. Titus it would appear, has no recognised, no up and running leadership on Crete (v5). This one of the problems he must deal with. Both Titus and Timothy are what you might call apostolic representatives, agents sent by the Apostles to do certain tasks. This man Titus has been used by the Apostle Paul on other occasions. The greeting with which this letter kicks off is much longer than most of Paul’s other letters, Romans excluded. There is a great deal to be learned from this greeting alone, it warrants careful study.
The question begs itself, why did Paul write the letter to begin with? Perhaps some on the island of Crete would question the authority of Titus? You know, who is this guy? Who does he think he is, to come breezing in here and start sorting out our affairs? Well, here is Titus’ authority, an apostolic letter giving him his mandate, and his agenda. Whoever refuses to hear Titus, is rejecting apostolic authority. The man Titus himself? He was a gentile (Galatians 2:3). He was experienced in pastoral work, he ministered in Corinth with all its inherent difficulties (2Corinthians 8:6, 16-17). In very real terms he could be called Paul’s trouble-shooter (2Corinthians 2:12-13; 7:5-7). Note the way Paul refers to him as his partner (2Corinthians 8:23), Titus was a man of integrity, trustworthy (2Corinthians 12:18). What an example for Christians today! Could Paul have trusted you in this way?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1998)