Titus 3:12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
When I send-
- Paul was a leader of a missionary team. There are many other examples of him sending and calling others for the purposes of the Kingdom of God.
Can you think of possible reasons why Paul rotated messengers / missionaries from one place to another?
- See below for various verses of Paul’s laborers being sent to various places for specific reasons.
- Timothy was sent to the Thessalonians to strengthen, encourage, and learn of their faith.
- 1 Thes. 3:2 We sent Timothy, our brother and fellow worker for God in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen you and encourage you about your faith,
- 1 Thes. 3:16 But now Timothy has come to us from you and given us the good news of your faith and love and that you always think of us with affection and long to see us just as we also long to see you!
- Timothy sent to Corinth to remind them of Paul’s ways in Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 4:17 (NET) 17 For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
- The brothers were sent as messengers.
- 2 Corinthians 8:23 (NET) 23 If there is any question about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; if there is any question about our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
- Sent to make everything known to you.
- Ephesians 6:21 (NET) 21 Tychicus, my dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make everything known to you, so that you too may know about my circumstances, how I am doing.
- Sent to hear news about you.
- Philippians 2:19-25 (NET) 19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be encouraged by hearing news about you. 20 For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you. 21 Others are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his qualifications, that like a son working with his father, he served with me in advancing the gospel. 23 So I hope to send him as soon as I know more about my situation, 24 though I am confident in the Lord that I too will be coming to see you soon. 25 But for now I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother, coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to me in my need.
- Sent so they will tell you about everything here.
- Colossians 4:9,12 (NET) 9 I sent him with Onesimus, the faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.
- Sent, not forced.
- 1 Corinthians 16:12 (NET)
With regard to our brother Apollos: I strongly encouraged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was simply not his intention to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.
Artemas or Tychicus to you –
a) Artemas is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible.
- In 2 Timothy 4:12, Tychicus was sent to Ephesus. Therefore, it is likely that Artimas was sent to Crete.
b) See blog post about Tychicus at the following link:
do your best to come to me at Nicopolis –
- Commentaries do not agree on which Nicopolis this is referring.
- Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
- Nicopolis meaning “city of victory”
- There were many cities by this name, — in Armenia, Pontus, Cilicia, Epirus, Thrace — which were generally built or had there name changed, by some conqueror to commemorate a victory. The one in Titus 3:12 seems to refer to the city was built by Augustus in memory of the battle of Actium on a promontory of Epirius. The one in the subscription of Titus seems to refer to Thracian Nicopolis, founded by Trojan on the river Nestus, since he calls it the city of Macedonia.
for I have decided to spend the winter there –
- It seems winter was a time when sea travel was avoided. Therefore, Titus, being on the island of Crete, needed to travel before winter.
- Below are verses about traveling in the winter.
- Acts 28:11 (NET) 11 After three months we put out to sea in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and had the “Heavenly Twins” as its figurehead.
- 1 Corinthians 16:6 (NET) 6 and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you can send me on my journey, wherever I go.
How do seasons influence modern day missions?
Benson’s commentary notes the following observation regarding Paul telling Titus to come to Nicopolis before winter. “This manner of speaking shows that the apostle was at liberty when he wrote this epistle (Titus), and consequently that it was written in the interval between his first and second imprisonment. ”
The possibility that Paul experienced two Roman imprisonments is not known to many Christians. Below I have pieced together evidence for the possibility.
Paul’s Two Roman Imprisonments:
1. Paul’s First Roman imprisonment was at least 2 years long mentioned in the book of Acts right before the book abruptly ends.
Acts 28:16 (NET) 16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
Acts 28:20 (NET) 20 So for this reason I have asked to see you and speak with you, for I am bound with this chain because of the hope of Israel.”
Acts 28:30 (NET) 30 Paul lived there two whole years in his own rented quarters and welcomed all who came to him,
We have seen that Paul arrived in Rome as a prisoner in the beginning of A.D.61; and at this time his confinement continued only two years, he must have been liberated in the early part of A.D.63. Nero had not then commenced his memorable persecution of the Church; for the burning of the city (Rome) took place in the summer of A.D.64. (William Dool Killen, the ancient church, Paul’s second imprisonment.)
2. Extra-Biblical Evidence that Paul traveled to Spain though there was no record in the book of ACTS. Also Evidence that Paul planned to go to Spain found in the Book to the Romans.
….there is evidence that he actually preached the gospel in that country; for Clemens Romanus, who was his contemporary and fellow-labourer, positively affirms that he travelled “to the extremity of the west.” (William Dool Killen, the ancient church, Paul’s second imprisonment. )
Romans 15:28 (NET)
Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them (Jerusalem), I will set out for Spain by way of you (Rome),
3. 2 Timothy is believed to be Paul’s last book written because he says, “the time for me to depart is at hand”.
2 Timothy 4
6 For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. 7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!
4. Although Paul was captured at the time he wrote 2 Timothy, there is evidence within the same letter that he was recently free.
A) Paul seems to have recently been in Troas and Miletus.
2 Timothy 4:13 (NET)
When you come, bring with you the cloak I left in Troas with Carpas and the scrolls, especially the parchments.
2 Timothy 4:20 (NET)
Erastus stayed in Corinth. Trophimus I left ill in Miletus.
B) There is evidence Paul was in Crete although it was never mentioned in the Book of Acts. Also, the content of Titus and 1 Tim is similar, so the letters were probably written around the same time.
Titus 1:5 (NET) 5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set in order the remaining matters and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
C). Evidence in book of Titus that Paul was going to Nicopolis thus showing he was free at the time he wrote to Titus.
Titus 3:12 (NET) 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
D). Evidence in 2 Timothy that Titus had already been to see Paul. Therefore, this proved Titus was written before 2 Timothy. Thus combined with above Verse in Titus, it appears Paul was free before 2 Timothy was written. But then he was imprisoned again when 2 Timothy was written since he says, my departure is at hand, as mentioned earlier.
2 Timothy 4:10 (NET) 10 For Demas deserted me, since he loved the present age, and he went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia.
E). Evidence that Paul was sure he would be released, but he left open the possibility that he would not.
Philippians 1:13 (NET) 13 The whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ,
Philippians 1:19 (NET) 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:25 (NET) 25 And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that what you can be proud of may increase because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you. 27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that – whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent – I should hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel,
5. Evidence that Paul was Beheaded in Rome, so his second imprisonment must have been in Rome.
- Paul was martyred perhaps about A.D.66. Tradition reports that he was beheaded…(William Dool Killen, the ancient church, Paul’s second imprisonment.)
- ….Apostle Paul, who was martyred in Rome at the conclusion of what most believe was a second imprisonment postdating the book of Acts, between which he traveled to Spain and Crete (Titus 1:5). Of this period, the 3rd century church historian Eusebius wrote: After defending himself the Apostle was again set on the ministry of preaching…coming a second time to the same city [Paul] suffered martyrdom under Nero. During this imprisonment he wrote the second Epistle to Timothy. (Eccl Hist. 2.22.2) ….Eusebius goes on to report “that in his [Nero’s] time Paul was beheaded in Rome itself and that Peter was likewise crucified. (Eccl Hist. 2.25.5) Paul’s execution took place at the end of Nero’s reign, c. A.D. 65-68. His legal status as a Roman citizen protected him from the ignominious sentence of crucifixion suffered by Peter. The traditional spot for the beheading is known as the Abbey of the Three Fountains (the head reputedly bounced three times before coming to rest), which is south of the modern center of Rome. (http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/10/08/New-Discoveries-Relating-to-the-Apostle-Paul.aspx#Article)
- Extra biblically, there is evidence from 1 Clement 5:5-7 (c. AD 95-96) where the writer describes Paul as suffering tremendously for his faith and then being “set free from this world and transported up to the holy place, having become the greatest example of endurance.” While details regarding the manner of his fate are lacking, the immediate context strongly implies that Clement was setting up Paul as an example of martyrdom. Other early evidences for the martyrdom of Paul can be found in Ignatius (Letter to the Ephesians 12:2), Polycarp (Letter to the Philippians 9:1-2), Dionysius of Corinth (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.25.4), Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1), The Acts of Paul, and Tertullian (Scorpiace15:5-6). (http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/was-paul-beheaded-in-rome)
If Paul was free to travel to Spain and Crete between two Roman imprisonments, what lessons can we learn from his story?
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Do We Admire God’s Messengers?
Pray and admire those who serve as missionaries for My Kingdom’s sake. It is a hard life. Money is always in short supply. Financial and family sacrifices are made. The travel to and fro is exhausting. Persecutions can be close by. The seasons can become times of refreshment, and they can also become obstacles to getting My work completed.
Give to them. It is a privilege to give to them. I will reward you, and can you imagine seeing the souls in heaven that came to Me by My work on the cross, by that missionaries work of proclaiming My message, and by your giving to advance the reach of the Gospel.
Romans 10 (NET)
10:14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.”