Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Then, fourteen years later, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus with me also. I went up by revelation, and I laid out to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles.”
Paul, in Galatians 2:1-2
God revealed to Paul that he must go up to Jerusalem and explain his gospel for the Gentiles to the apostles and elders there. Paul’s revelation must have included instructions to take an example of his work to show those elders. Timothy, Paul’s most trusted helper, was disqualified as an example of Paul’s gospel because Timothy was circumcised. It was critical to Paul’s acceptance by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the born-again Gentile God sent with Paul to be a convincing specimen of purity and faith apart from the rituals of the Law of Moses. Titus was the chosen vessel, the best example of holiness outside the Law that Paul had to offer. He must have been an extraordinary example of holiness to be chosen by Paul to travel to Jerusalem as an example of the merciful work God was doing through Paul among the Gentiles – to prove that God was really doing it!
Paul calls Titus his “son” (Tit. 1:4-5), and he trusted him with oversight of the troubled saints in Crete, just as he trusted Timothy to minister to the troubled saints in Ephesus. The oversight of Crete was a daunting task; many souls were in the balance, and Paul would have entrusted that work only to a man who had the knowledge of God and who had proved himself worthy and capable of handling such a responsibility.
In 2Corinthians 2:12-13, Paul expresses his great affection for Titus. Even though God had opened a door for the gospel at Troas, Paul so earnestly wanted to find Titus that he left that island, and God’s open door, and went to Macedonia searching for him.
In 2Corinthians 7:5-6, Paul speaks of the great comfort he received from Titus’ arrival in Macedonia. There was more to Paul’s comfort than simply Titus’ arrival, but it was at least in part by the coming of Titus that this great apostle was comforted.
In 2Corinthians 8:16-17 and in 12:17-19, Paul says that Titus loved the saints in Corinth as Paul did, that they had the same kind of heart.
Alas, in 2Timothy 4:9-10, it appears that Titus’ courage faltered when Paul was summoned to give an answer before Caesar, and he left the old apostle in Italy. Before Caesar, Paul said, he stood alone (4:16).
The fact that Titus may have failed to stand by Paul as he should have in Paul’s last days does not diminish in the least what Titus meant to the saints and to Paul in previous years. And it does not mean that Paul was lacking in discernment to have loved and trusted Titus during all those years. Young Titus, traveling with Paul to Jerusalem as an example of a righteous Gentile, was as good an example of purity and faith as could be found on the earth at that time.