Titus 3:12-15

Titus 3:12

"When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter."

The conclusion is devoted largely to personal matters. Paul indicates his plans for the future activities of Titus, and he lays on him the immediate obligation to assist Zenas and Apollos. The thought of material assistance is related more generally to the Cretan Christians.

Artemas is not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, so we have no information about this man. He is obviously a trusted worker, in the same class as Tychicus. Artemas and Tychicus were evidently available as replacements for Titus on Crete, and were to be sent by Paul to relieve Titus in his duties.

Tychicus was one of Paul's close associates. He was a native of the province of Asia (Acts 20:4) and probably accompanied Paul to Jerusalem on the third missionary journey.

When Paul was imprisoned in Rome the first time, he chose Tychicus to carry the epistles to Ephesus and Colosse (Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7). In Colossians Paul calls Tychicus "the beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord." From 2 Timothy 4:12 we learn that Paul sent him on a subsequent mission to Ephesus.

The verb "shall send" is in the subjunctive, indicating an indefinite clause, so that Paul had not yet decided when either of the two men would be sent to Crete. Titus was to remain as his post until his replacements arrived.

Paul requests Titus to join him at Nicopolis ("city of victory"). There were a number of cities of that name in the Mediterranean region. The city here is probably the one on the Ambracian Gulf in Epirus, built by Augustus to celebrate the Roman victory at the battle of Actium. Paul was not at Nicopolis when he wrote the letter to Titus, because he said "I have determined there to winter." We do not know where he was at the time of writing, perhaps in Achaia or Macedonia. But Paul was at liberty to go to Nicopolis, so we know that the letter was written after his release from his first Roman imprisonment.

Titus 3:13

"Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them."

"Bring" is actually "set forward".

Here we get an impression of Paul as a great spiritual leader, moving his "troops" into strategic position. And Titus is to have a part in furthering that work. Zenas and Apollos are on a journey which has evidently taken them by Crete; they may have carried the letter which we are studying. Titus now is to "set them forward" on their journey and to meet their needs for the travel.

We know nothing further of Zenas, except that he was a lawyer. His name is Greek, so he may have been a practitioner of Roman law and was now using his abilities in spreading the Gospel. He may have been a Jewish Christian, however, with a Greek name, and expert in Jewish law.

Apollos was the eloquent preacher from Alexandria whom Aquila and Priscilla instructed more fully in the way of the Lord at Ephesus.



Titus 3:14

"And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful."

These are instructions concerning the Cretan Christians. I believe there is a flavor here of Titus' turning to the local congregations to help with the needs of Zenas and Apollos. It was a good opportunity to cultivate a missionary spirit in the Cretan believers, and to learn to practice Christian giving.

This is a further reminder to them, and to us, that the Christian life is not in hearing only, but in doing the "good works which God has before ordained..." (Eph. 6:10)

Titus 3:15

"All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen."

There must have been a number of others with Paul when he wrote this epistle, probably fellow workers. As believers, the Cretans loved Paul and the other missionaries and that love bound them together. It was a love operating in the sphere of faith, so the reference is to the love which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Paul ends with a prayer that God's grace will be with all his friends and associates on Crete.

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