Day 71~ Titus 1-3
Well, that was a short letter! After reading about all of these “fellow workers” of Paul’s, it makes me want to meet them when I get to heaven! I bet they have some great stories!!
Titus is the guy we read about back in 2 Cor. He was traveling back and forth acting as a messenger of sorts (or mail man) between Paul and the Corinthians. We also read in Galatians 3 that because he was a Greek, the whole issue of circumcision for believers came up. We read how that got settled in Acts 15.
We just got finished reading in 2 Tim. that Titus was in Dalmatia (modern day Albania) while Paul was imprisoned in Rome. So this letter to Titus could have actually been placed between the two Timothy letters if you wanted to read the letters chronologically. (Which I plan on doing with the whole New Testament starting in September!!)
So, where was Titus prior to Dalmatia? Crete!! (Boy! That guy got around!) It seems like Paul had a system to his evangelism. Go into a town, develop some converts creating the start of a church, and then leave. But, he never left them high and dry, he would leave one of his fellow works to get the church organized with their own leaders (1: 6-9). Then, even those organizers would leave (like Titus left for Dalmatia). However, it seems like Paul always checked back to see how the churches were doing.
So, this time, Paul leaves Titus in an area known to have “liars, evil brutes and lazy gluttons”! (1:12) Titus had his work cut out for him to teach these people how to live holy lives (2:1). We learn from older Christians (these forefathers being the oldest; we get to read their letters to each other) and we also have the “grace of God that teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and world passions” (2:11).
Pauls’ closing statement got me to ponder…..so why do “Our people need to learn to devote themselves to doing what is good” ......why????…….What profound, life changing revelation will Paul say to the posed question?…….
“in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” (3:14)
Really?….That’s it?….I thought it would have been something big ..like, "then they get a huge reward in heaven"....Nope...
Boy! Those people must have been REAL lazy gluttons! But then...this reminds me of a story...
A missionary couple shared their life story with me and Scott when we traveled to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. When that couple arrived 40 years earlier, the town had many men, drunk and literally laying in the street gutters. Women were left at home caring for their children alone because the men were sleeping the days away. Poverty was rampant! Slowly over time, their church grew. Lives were changed. Now 40 years later, there was a full cultural change in that mountain area. It was rare to see men drunk. The men were working and providing for their families. That couple ended up retiring and returning to the US. What a blessing for them that they got to witness and be a part of transforming peoples lives just as Titus did!