Dr. Luke’s Missing Man

Why did Paul’s partner-in-ministry, Dr. Luke, do this? And to a fellow Gentile believer, of all things. Why didn’t he include Titus in his book of Acts? Well, I have no idea. Titus was involved in Paul’s ministry almost from the start. After all, Paul might have led him to Christ (Titus 1:4).

In Galatians, Paul writes that he and Barnabas took Titus to Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1). Perhaps Titus accompanied them when they brought relief for a famine that struck the city (Acts 11:28-30), or maybe he was present at Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) when Paul and Barnabas defended the Gentiles coming to faith in Christ.

During Paul’s third missionary tour, Titus was most active. Though Paul refers to him often in 2 Corinthians, he’s also mentioned in 2 Timothy and, of course, Galatians. Paul wrote a letter to him that bears his name, either in 64 or 66 A.D. Its date depends on whether Paul had one or two Roman imprisonments.

On his third missionary tour, Paul spent lots of time in Ephesus (Acts 20). Upon leaving that city, he sent some coworkers ahead and then traveled to Troas, on the coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) to meet Titus. Titus, however, never showed up (2 Corinthians 2:12-13).

So, Paul continued to Macedonia where he finally rejoined Titus, who’d been in Achaia (Greece) working on Paul’s behalf (2 Corinthians 7:5-7). The church at Corinth had a myriad of problems Titus was trying to deal with. We know this because he brought Paul a report about them (2 Corinthians 7:5-6, 13-15). This prompted Paul to write 2 Corinthians, which Titus probably carried back to that church.

If Paul had two Roman imprisonments, the second one not recorded in Acts, then Titus accompanied him to Crete. And Crete’s mission field was just as difficult as Corinth’s. What was Titus’s mission there? To establish and oversee its church (Titus 1:5). Paul described the Cretans as “liars, evil beasts, slow bellies “(Titus 1:12, KJV). Slow bellies is sometimes translated gluttons.

Church tradition says Titus became the first bishop of Crete. Like the Apostle John, he lived a long life. It is said he passed away peacefully at age 97, into the presence of Jesus.

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