31 May, 2006

Leadership: Intermission

No time last night to write on Titus 3, but I had enough time to put together a quick word about the last 4 verses of the book.

12 As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.

15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.

So far as I know, this is the only mention of Artemas in the bible, but Tychicus we know. He was with Paul when Paul was first planting the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:4). So, Tychicus, Titus and Timothy all got the same training there with Paul. Nicopolis is on the far side of Greece, nearest to Italy - Albania, really. We don't hear much about Paul in Albania, but he wintered there, at least.

Zenas is only mentioned here, but someone figures he was a Jewish lawyer who later became a Christian.

Apollos is one of the biggest small-fries of the new testament. He was at the center of quite a stink in Corinth, and maybe he even was the stink in Corinth. A study of Apollos might be a great followup to the generic leadership thoughts I have been working through. Whatever the case might have been in Corinth, Paul is looking out for him now.

Paul references good works one more time, just for good measure, and then sends and accepts love from those on both "ends of the line."

These verses get precious little attention, but they are the glue that hold the new testament together. Paul gives us little throw-away indications of what is happening in and between the churches from day to day. They are worth attention just on their own.

Maybe another day. :-)


Danny Kaye said...

That's some interesting stuff.

One comment and then a question.

"Apollos is one of the biggest small-fries of the new testament."

I LOVE THAT!!! I am soooo gonna steal it.

Why are these verses the glue that hold the NT together?

Just curious what I am missing, here.

codepoke said...


I must have done a post of a reasonable length for once. :-)

Why are these verses the glue that hold the NT together?

I was a member of a church that held these verses almost to be the most important of the new testament, and not just because they wanted to be odd. They saw them as displaying Paul's strategy in church planting. Acts 20:4 was their John 3:16 of the purpose of the church.

Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

The 7 men listed there were all young, and all from churches Paul had planted. He called them from those churches to take this journey with him. They eventually end up spending 2 years watching and helping him plant the church in Ephesus. When Paul dies, these are the men who carry on after him.

Combine the little end notes about them with what we know of Priscilla, Apollos, and others, and you have a pretty good picture of what Paul was trying to do.

Take that picture and recast the epistles into its mold. Suddenly, the letter to the Philippians, or Galations, or Laodiceans (Ephesians) acquires an important 3rd dimension. It is deeper than context. Colossians and Ephesians are meant to complement each other, and both are based upon lessons Paul learned from the mistakes he made writing Galatians. Romans is supposed to be beginning of a new direction in Paul's ministry, not the capstone.

It's all very cool.

codepoke said...

Of course, I make up for a short post with a long comment, but that's not a surprise. :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you think bird flu is going to be a problem ?

I heard it would hit USA & Canada this fall.

Is there anything to the bird flu panic ?

codepoke said...


If you are a real person, just comment again and I will followup.