Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland
Great Unknown People of the Bible
Titus and Timothy
Titus Galatians 2:1-3
Timothy Acts 16:1-3
Timothy's Training, Call, and Ordination:
1 Timothy 4:11-16
2 Timothy 1:3-6
2 Timothy 3:14-17
2 Timothy 4:1-5, 11-16
Timothy's health: 1 Timothy 5:23
in Corinth 2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:5-8:23 (Acts 19)
in Crete Titus 1:5
in Nicopolis Titus 3:12
in Dalmatia 1 Timothy 4:10
Acts 17:13-15; 18:5 (1 Thess. 3:1-7)
1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10
1 Timothy 1:3
2 Corinthians 1:1
1 Thess. 1:1
2 Thess. 1:1
2 Tim. 4:9-13,21
There is a radio commercial that airs frequently on Dallas stations,
particularly at holiday times, advertising a brand of vacuum cleaners.
The ad typically consists of the founder and CEO of the company coming
on the air and telling in a winsome way why his company's vacuum cleaner
is better than all the others on the market. And lately the company has
also been selling portable air filters. But there is something I find a
bit annoying about the ad. This man keeps referring to the product as "my
vacuum cleaner" or "my air filter." I wonder how all his employees
feel about his liberal use of the pronoun "my" when referring to a product
that they are helping to design, make, market, and sell. A leader's
oversight of the support he or she receives from others who make that leader
successful can easily undermine the loyalty of those who deserve the praise
given to the leader.
Our study series on great unknown people of the Bible has generally
focused on those kinds of folks who worked in the support of a notable
leader, people like Aquila and Priscilla, Barnabas, Doctor Luke, Obediah
and Ebed Melek. In a couple weeks our series will be coming to a close,
and there are so many under-recognized saints of both the Old Testament
and New Testament whom we haven't covered, people like Jeremiah's scribe,
Baruch, whose name means "blessing", or King Jehosaphat, who has an extraordinary
tale to tell of God's intervention when the armies of three more powerful
nations formed a military alliance and converged for an attack against
Jerusalem. And there are countless folks who worked with and worked for
the Apostle Paul in his missionary efforts, people like Silas (whom Paul
referred to as Sylvanus), Tychicus, Aristarchus, Erastus, and many others.
While each one of those folks surrounding Paul's minstry has a story to
tell, their stories, at least as we know them, are so similar, that to
tell one, would be to tell them all.
Two of the traveling companions and colleagues of Paul about whom we
know the most are Titus and Timothy. And in many way, these two are quite
representative of the host of other Christian men and women whom God used
to make the Apostle's ministry fruitful.
If I am to introduce Titus and Timothy chronologically, we must begin
with Titus. Our only source for information about Titus is from the letters
of the Apostle Paul. There is no mention of Titus anywhere in the book
of Acts, even though the good Doctor Luke had worked with and traveled
In Galatians 1 and 2, Paul describes the events following his conversion,
and the beginning of his mission work.
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was
preached by me is not according to man.
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but
it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted
the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.
14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in
my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb
and called me through His grace,
16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles,
I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before
me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and
remained with him fifteen days.
19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's
20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before
God, I do not lie.)
21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
If you recall, when Paul had returned to Jerusalem from his
Damascus trip… three years late, and now a Christian, the Christians in
Jerusalem were very reluctant to accept him or trust him, for they remembered
him as Saul the persecutor. It was Barnabas who took the chance and extended
the right hand of fellowship to Paul. When the disciples learned that Paul's
life was in danger, they shipped him off to home town of Tarsus in the
region of Cilicia, as it is called here. Then later Barnabas was sent north
into Antioch in Syria, and Barnabas recruited Paul to be his assistant.
22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were
23 But they were hearing only, "He who formerly persecuted us now
preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy."
24 And they glorified God in me
Now what Paul doesn't tell about here is his first missionary
trip, the one that Luke reports in Acts 13 & 14, where Paul and Barnabas
go to Cyprus with John Mark, and then north to Lystra and Derbe, and then
back to Antioch.
1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas,
and also took Titus with me.
Aha! Here he is, for the first time. We can only assume from the context
that Titus had been a member of the congregation at Antioch. But his country
of origin we do not know, other than that we know from the next couple
verses that Titus was a Gentile. He wasn't not Jewish.
Why did Paul, Barnabas, and Titus go to Jerusalem? Paul answers that
question in the next verse:
If you recall from the first verses of Acts 15, Luke reports:
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel
which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation,
lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren,
"Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot
The rest of Acts 15 is Luke's report of very important Jerusalem counsel,
in which the Apostles discerned that it was God's plan that Gentiles be
saved entirely by the Grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, not by
Works of the Flesh under Jewish Law.
2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and
dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain
others of them [e.g. Titus?] should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles
and elders, about this question.
Paul continues in Galatians 2:
3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled
to be circumcised.
For the moment, that is all we know about Titus. Since he was part of the
delegation, representing Gentiles from the church in Antioch, we can safely
assume that Titus returned there with Paul and Barnabas.
4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in
(who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ
Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),
5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the
truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Now Paul begins his second missionary journey. Again, if you recall,
Barnabas and Paul part company, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, and Paul
taking Silas north back through Cilicia, and then continuing west to Lystra,
where they meet Timothy.
Now we pick up the story in Acts 16:
1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain
disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who
believed, but his father was Greek.
2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised
him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that
his father was Greek.
4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the
decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.
5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased
in number daily.
Now what's the deal? Titus, the gentile, doesn't need to be circumcised,
put Timothy does? Don't we have a double standard here?
No. For if you recall, the issue for Titus and the Antioch church was
that whether or not circumcision was needed for eternal salvation – and
with circumcision comes the commitment to the whole Jewish Cerimonial,
in the false hope that one could be made righteous through the Law. The
Law of God does not make us righteous. It only shows that we are unrighteous,
and in need of a Savior. And for Titus to submit to circumcision in Antioch
would be to deny the free gift of Salvation offered him by the sufficient
sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.
But the issue for Timothy was not his personal salvation, but rather,
opportunity to bring the Gospel of Jesus to Jews, with whom he could claim
kinship through his mother's family. And as long as he remained uncircumcised,
the door of opportunity to witness to fellow Jews would remain closed to
him. Paul's concern in having Timothy circumcised was not a concern for
Timothy's salvation, but the salvation of other Jewish folk with whom they
might have the opportunity to share the Gospel.
Earlier in our series we touched on Timothy's upbringing and training
in Scripture, when we learned about his Mother and Grandmother, Eunice
and Lois. If you missed it, you can get it from this church's web site.
In the follow passages from 1st & 2nd Timothy,
Paul reminded Timothy of God's calling on his life to preach and teach
Titus and Timothy not only traveled with Paul in his ministry, but they
often traveled for Paul to carry on his ministry in places were
he wanted to go, but couldn't.
[1 TIMOTHY 4]
11 These things command and teach.
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers
in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to
you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that
your progress may be evident to all.
16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them,
for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
[2 TIMOTHY 1]
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers
did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that
I may be filled with joy,
5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which
dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded
is in you also.
6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is
in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of
love and of a sound mind.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor
of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel
according to the power of God,
[2 TIMOTHY 4]
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who
will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince,
rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine,
but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they
will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned
aside to fables.
5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the
work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Chronology of the Minstries
of Titus and Timothy
Between Paul's first and second missionary journey
Titus travels with Paul from Antioch to Jerusalem to
clarify the circumcision question with the elders and Apostles (Galatians
Paul's second missionary journey
Paul meets Timothy and adds him to his ministry team.
Paul is forced out of Macedonia, so he leaves (or sends) Timothy
and Silas to continue the Macedonian ministry in his absence. (Acts 17:13-15;
1 Thessalonians 3:107)
Timothy and Silas catch up with Paul again in Corinth.
Following their year and a half stay in Corinth, and a brief
stop in Ephesus, Paul, Silas, and Timothy go Jerusalem, and then
return to Antioch
Paul's third missionary journey
Paul and company spend between 2-1/5 and 3 years in Ephesus. (Acts
Paul sends Titus (probably carrying the letter we call First
Corinthians) to Corinth. (2 Corinthians 2:9-13; 7:5-8:23)
Paul sends Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia, with the intent
that they continue on to Corinth (Acts 19:21-22; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10)
Paul takes a quick trip to Troas, then Macedonia, in hopes of meeting
Titus returning from Corinth. (2 Corinthians 2:9-13; 7:5-16)
Paul sends the letter of Second Corinthians to Corinth. The courier
is not named, but is likely Titus.
Paul and company go to Corinth to collect the offering taken for the
Jerusalem Christians. (Acts 20)
Paul's first Roman imprisonment
Timothy is with Paul in Rome. (Philippians 1:1; Colossians
1:1; Philemon 1)
Paul sends Timothy back to minister in Macedonia. (Philippians
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly,
that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father
he served with me in the
23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it
goes with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
Paul's post-Acts missionary journeys
Paul sends Titus to Crete to pastor the church there,
with instructs to meet up with him in Nicopolis (Titus 1:4; 3:12)
Paul's final Roman imprisonment
Paul sends Timothy to Ephesus to pastor the church there. (1
Paul sends Titus to minister in Dalmatia. (2 Timothy
An unspecified time
Timothy is working somewhere in Asia (western Turkey) with Aquila
and Priscilla. Paul asks Timothy to leave that work, and bring Mark and
a few of Paul's possession to Rome as soon as possible. (2 Timothy 4)
Timothy is released from prison. (Hebrews 13:23)
Paul's Letters to Timothy and Titus
The final matter of importance relating to Titus and Timothy are the
three letters Paul wrote to them, which are preserved for us in Scripture:
Two to Timothy, and one to Titus. The letters of First Timothy and Titus
are very similar in content and style. Paul's motivation for writing them
both was to give instruction to Timothy in Ephesus, and Titus on the Island
of Crete, instruction concerning the organization and oversight of the churches Paul
had asked them lead. These two letters are foundational to the way we chose
leaders and do ministry in the church today. Paul wrote both letters while
he was still in active mission work, some time following his release from
his first Roman incarceration.
Paul's second letter to Timothy however, was quite different in tone
and content. Paul knows he will soon be executed, and so he simply urges
Timothy to be faithful to his call.
[2 TIMOTHY 4]
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the
time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have
kept the faith.
8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which
the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to
me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
9 Be diligent to come to me quickly;
10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and
has departed for Thessalonica; Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he
is useful to me for ministry.
12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come;
and the books, especially the parchments.
19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus
21 Do your utmost to come before winter [with that cloak!]…
22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you.