We remember St. Titus today by reading a biographical excerpt from Introduction to the Books of the Bible.
Titus heard the Gospel preached by Paul, and God used that experience to bring Titus to faith in Jesus. Titus then became a steadfast worker in the mission field with Paul. We remember him today for his dedication to the Gospel and shepherding people in their Christian faith.
Less is known of Titus than of Timothy. In the Book of Acts his name is never mentioned. Titus was a Greek, i.e., Gentile, by birth (Gal. 2:3). Paul tells the Galatians that he took Titus with him when he and Barnabas were sent from Antioch to Jerusalem to attend the apostolic convention (AD 51). At Jerusalem some false brethren insisted that Titus should be circumcised as commanded in the Law of Moses. In the case of Timothy Paul had ordered his circumcision out of tender regard for weak Jewish Christians. But in this case he refused to yield. Why? “Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you” (Gal. 2:4–5). Soon thereafter Paul set out on his second missionary journey, Titus being a “partner and fellow worker” (2 Cor. 8:23). Titus served in this capacity during the remaining years of Paul’s life. Paul calls him his “true child in a common faith” (Titus 1:4), not only because he had been converted under his preaching, but also because he resembled the apostle so much in his moral make-up. Paul twice sent him as a confidential messenger to the church at Corinth. He dispatched him to Corinth to see for him what impression his first letter to the Corinthians had made. That was a very delicate mission; for the strife and confusion in the Corinthian church was threatening to destroy the apostle’s influence. Titus discharged his duty so successfully that Paul made him the bearer of his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, at the same time instructing him to manage the Corinthian collection for the relief of the poor brethren in Judea (2 Cor. 8:6, 16–18). Having been liberated from his first imprisonment at Rome in the year 63, Paul also visited the island of Crete. When he departed, he selected Titus for the important and trying position of continuing and completing the work which he had to leave unfinished (Titus 1:5). The task was difficult because of the natural character of the people and because of the many teachers of error (Titus 1:10–12). Before winter set in, Paul sent one of his other assistants to Crete to relieve Titus and asked Titus to give diligence to come to him at Nicopolis, a city of Epirus, where he had determined to winter (Titus 3:12). Nothing more concerning Titus is certainly known. According to ancient tradition he labored for many years in Crete and suffered martyrdom there at the age of 94.
Devotional reading is adapted from Introduction to the Books of the Bible, pages 187–88 © 1929 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
I praise You, O God, for giving me grace and peace in Christ Jesus, my Savior! Make me a sincere and faithful child in the communion of saints. Amen.
Prayer is from The Lutheran Study Bible, page 2089 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.