1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
Titus is pure, uncorrupted and a believer. He is the second follower of Paul and as a gentile would not be acceptable to the Jews and unlike, Timothy, is never circumcised. Titus is not following the law to be a 'pleaser' of men. The rewards of being a man who pleases God - he lives to be between 95 and 107 years old. Paul finds Titus doing such a good job as Titus appointed himself Bishop of Crete, that Paul appoints Titus to the job Titus has already been doing.
Titus - is apparently - a patron saint of bringing the Gospel to hostile pagans and
When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
This chapter isn't politically correct. People are spoken of - in not glowing terms. When I was 8 and read the Old Testament for Children for the first time - I felt struck with fear - and embarrassed to be afraid of God - I was taught in parochial school - God is Love.
And as I read the Children's New Testament I had a question. I was fortunate my grandmother Anita was delighted I'd read the whole thing and and asked what I had to ask. I asked, "Grandmother, what God says is good - why do the Prophets tell of Him so badly?"
My Grandmother was outraged, ok, she was indignant. She fussed and had to leave the room. I felt indignant myself. She came back in and told me I had no respect. And left. I felt angrier. And for the first time, I made no reply to an adult, but I'm sure I looked angry. Apparently this was effective, because Grandmother Anita returned to ask why I thought the Prophets of God were poor educators.
I said - Because the people kill them. God makes sense. People belong to God. People should be told of God so well that they don't want to kill the people explaining God.
Grandmother Anita was quiet and then she burst into smiles. And she said, "You need to read the New Testament next."
Christianity in Crete comes from the sizable Jewish population, the basis of the early church there. Ancient historians have evidence that Crete's was a flourishing centers of the Diaspora. The Greeks who came to Jesus to ask about Him. I Macc. 15:23, for example, cites Gortyna as one of the cities to which the Roman Senate sent its proclamation of 139 B.C. warning against the molestation of Jews. Philo counted Crete among those regions of the Empire with important Jewish communities; and Judean General survivor of Masada, Josephus, who married a woman from a Cretan Jewish family, considered the Jews of Crete a large enough force to mention them as supporters of the imposter who sought to succeed Herod the Great.
What did Titus do to be a successful saint in the midst of opposition? And live to a ripe old age?
Blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
God sent messengers in two by two. Titus must have had some support. Spoke honestly. Kindly. Someone who loves good and likes to see good. Holding firmly to the principals of Jesus. An encourager. Refuting what is not good. That's honest too.
Father God, I'd like to be in that number, when the saints go marching in. Amen in Jesus.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †