Some of the best and most capable people have a low profile. They’re not celebrities… not famous… not loud… and never draw attention to themselves. They mark their mark on this world in quiet ways. And those who them – and rely on them – could hardly live without them. Such was the case with Titus. For someone who has a New Testament letter named after him, we know little of Titus’ background. All we know for sure is that he was a Greek Gentile believer.
On more than one occasion, Titus proved to be a very important partner in Paul’s ministry.
In Paul’s thinking, Titus proved to be the answer to a burning question that motivated his letter to the Galatians: Was it necessary for Gentile converts to Christianity to be circumcised in order to be received by the Body of Christ? According to Paul, Titus was living, breathing proof that the answer was… no.
Titus is not mentioned by name in the book of Acts, though some have suggested (with good reason) that Titus was at the center of the circumcision debate described in the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15. In any case, Paul would make many references to Titus, showing how important he was to Paul in their ministry.
During his First Missionary Journey, Paul became the first church leader to intentionally and systematically reach out to Gentiles, wherever he went. At the close of that first missionary tour, he returned to Jerusalem, presumably to join the debate over the need for Gentile circumcision (Gal. 2:1; Acts 15:1). Some in the church at Jerusalem strongly believed circumcision was a necessary prerequisite for salvation. It wasn’t long before that doctrine was being picked up by believers in Galatia. But, Paul reminded these Galatian believers that the Jerusalem Church had endorsed his ministry to the Gentiles… and that they had NOT made Titus – a Gentile believer who had gone with Paul to Jerusalem – undergo circumcision. In Paul’s mind, Titus’ example settled the matter.
In the years that followed, Titus continued to be a catalyst for reconciliation. Titus’ was Paul’s representative to the church in Corinth during an especially difficult time in the relationship between Paul and that church. Much to Paul’s relief, Titus returned to him with a positive report of comfort, “godly sorrow”, and reconciliation (2Cor. 7:5-13)
Titus continued to work alongside Paul, traveling with him to Crete, where they seem to have parted for a time. Titus served as pastor to the Cretian Christians… an island where immorality reigned.
Titus continued to serve God faithfully, reconciling people to God and to each other. He was a reliable servant of God. The early church took root and grew – in large part – because of Titus’ influence.
Can people count on you? Can your pastor count on you?
The people around you need you… and many are depending on you!
You can read the story of Titus in 2Corinthians 2:13; 7:6-16; 8:6,16-24; 12:18; Galatians 2:1-5; 2Timothy 4:1-; Titus 1-3.