Can you think of a time in your life when you had a mentor? That would be someone you seek advice from and look up to. Mentors also encourage you to do the right thing. Sometimes our parents play that role. For Titus, his mentor was Paul. Paul was very influential in the early Christian movement following his conversion. Paul knew that he had to raise up young leadership to “take the baton” so to speak if Jesus’ message was to reach the ends of the earth.
Titus was one of those bright stars that Paul worked with and nurtured. We see the welcome Paul gives to Titus in this letter. While Paul calls Titus out as his “true son in the faith,” the opening lines of this letter seem to be more of an commissioning for the work we (including Titus) are called to do. A good mentor will be clear in giving direction. The message then is to “proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives.”
The next questions one might ask are, “How?” “How do we go about proclaiming our faith?” “What should we say to teach them the truth?” That’s exactly what the book of Titus is all about. It’s Paul’s counsel to Titus about the responsibility being entrusted to him. Titus was a Greek follower, presumably converted to being a Christ follower by Paul. Titus will eventually take charge as overseer of the churches in Crete.
When you start a new job, it usually takes a little time to learn the ropes. You may be be shadowed for a time by a superior to answer questions and give direction. This is exactly Paul’s role in Titus’ life. Paul is setting Titus up for success in his new role.
You may recall that Paul wasn’t always on Jesus’ team. Before he encountered Jesus, Paul was a Jewish official who was persecuting Christians. It’s a great example of a before and after. We see those all over the place these days with people losing weight, growing their hair, clearing up their acne, etc. Paul’s story was colorful in that regard, and he always reminded people of his new mission in Christ.
“And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him.” God’s timing is always perfect. The time has come for the message of salvation to be shared with everyone. That’s an important statement in and of itself. God’s message was not just for the Jews but everyone. Paul acknowledged publicly that God had entrusted him to do this work.
How do you fit in to this picture? We can be mentored by Paul through the wisdom of his writings. The truth he speaks of is the same today as it was then. We, too, are called to share this truth with others. The whole world is a big place, and there are still many who haven’t heard about God’s saving grace. If they have heard, are they following? What’s holding them back?
Take some time to ask God how you can help in this mission. Be listening and ready for God’s response. “May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.”
Let’s pray …
Lord, I thank you for how you are equipping us through your Word. May I not be afraid of this mission. Empower me and use me. Help me to see and to love as you see and love. Give me a boldness to speak. May I bloom where you have planted me so that others will see your good works and give you the glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.