Titus 3:13
The connection of Titus with the Cretan Church was to be but temporary; therefore the apostle gives him two commands.

I. A COMMAND FOR TITUS TO JOIN THE APOSTLE AT NICOPOLIS.

1. The apostle needed his services, either at this city in Epirus, where he determined to spend the winter - no doubt in apostolic labors - or to ascertain from him the exact condition of the Church at Crete, or to send him forth on an errand to some of the other Churches.

2. But the place of Titus was not to be left unsupplied. Two brethren, Artemas and Tychicus, were to go to Crete - one altogether unknown by us, but, as he is first mentioned, probably a minister of high distinction and zeal; the other, Tychicus, one of the most esteemed of the apostle's friends (Acts 20:4; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12).

II. A COMMAND FOR TITUS TO HASTEN THE DEPARTURE OF ZENAS AND APOLLOS FROM CRETE. These brethren had been laboring in the Church there, probably, before Titus was left behind by the apostle. Zenas, the lawyer, was probably a Jewish scribe converted to Christianity, who had been acting as an evangelist in Crete. Apollos was the eloquent preacher of Alexandria, and now as always in perfect sympathy with the apostle, though there seemed a rivalry between them at Corinth. The apostle implies that the Cretan Christians were to provide the necessary help for such a journey. - T.C.







Bring Zenas the lawyer
This man of my text belonged to a profession which has often had ardent supporters of Christ and the gospel. Among them, Blackstone, the great commentator on English law; and Wilberforce, the emancipator; and Chief Justices Marshall, and Tenterden, and Campbell, and Sir Thomas More, who died for the truth on the scaffold, saying to his aghast executioner: "Pluck up courage, man, and do your duty: my neck is very short; be careful, therefore, and do not strike awry." Among the mightiest pleas that ever have been made by tongue of barrister, have been pleas in behalf of the Bible and Christianity — as when Daniel Webster stood in the Supreme Court at Washington, pleading in the famous Girard will case, denouncing any attempt to educate the people without giving them at the same time moral sentiment, as "low, ribald, and vulgar deism and infidelity"; as when Samuel L. Southard, of New Jersey, the leader of the forum in his day, stood on the platform at Princeton College commencement, advocating the literary excellency of the Scriptures; as when Edmund Burke, in the famous trial of Warren Hastings, not only in behalf of the English government, but in behalf of elevated morals, closed his speech in the midst of the most august assemblage ever gathered in Westminster Hall, by saying: "I impeach Warren Hastings in the name of the House of Commons, whose national character he has dishonoured; I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose rights and liberties he has subverted; I impeach him in the name of human nature, which he has disgraced; in the name of both sexes, and of every rank, and of every station, and of every situation in the world, I impeach Warren Hastings." Yet, notwithstanding all the pleas which that profession has made in behalf of God, and the Church, and the gospel, and the rights of man, there has come down through the generations a style of prejudice against it. So long ago as in the time of Oliver Cromwell, it was decided that lawyers might not enter the parliament house as members, and they were called "sons of Zeruiah." The learned Doctor Johnson wrote an epitaph for one of them in these words:

"God works wonders now and then,

Here lies a lawyer, an honest man!"There is no man who has more temptations, more trials, or graver responsibilities than the barrister, and he who attempts to discharge the duties of his position with only earthly resources, is making a very great mistake. Witness Lord Thurlow, announcing his loyalty to earthly government in the sentence: "If I forget my earthly sovereign, may God forget me," and yet stooping to unaccountable meanness. Witness Lord Coke, the learned and the reckless. No other profession more needs the grace of God to deliver them in their temptations, to comfort them in their trials, to sustain them in the discharge of their duty. While I would have you bring the merchant to Christ, and while I would have you bring the farmer to Christ, and while I would have you bring the mechanic to Christ, I address you today in the words of Paul to Titus, "Bring Zenas the lawyer." By so much as his duties are delicate and great, by so much does he need Christian stimulus and safeguard. God alone can direct him. To that chancery he must be appellant, and he will get an answer in an hour. Blessed is that attorney between whose office and the throne of God there is perpetual, reverential, and prayerful communication. That attorney will never make an irreparable mistake. True to the habits of your profession, you say, "Cite us some authority on the subject." Well, I quote to you the decision of the Supreme Court of Heaven: "If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." There are two or three forms of temptation to which the legal profession is especially subjected.

1. The first of all is scepticism. You get so used to pushing the sharp question "why" and making unaided reason superior to the emotions, that the religion of Jesus Christ, which is a simple matter of faith, and above human reason, has but little chance with some of you. Scepticism is the mightiest temptation of the legal profession, and that man who can stand in that profession, resisting all solicitations to infidelity, and can be as brave as George Briggs of Massachusetts, who stepped from the gubernatorial chair to the missionary convention, to plead the cause of a dying race: then on his way home from the convention, on a cold day, took off his warm cloak and threw it over the shoulders of a thinly-clad missionary, saying: "Take that and wear it, it will do you more good than it will me"; or, like John McLean, who can step from the Supreme Courtroom of the United States on to the anniversary platform of the American Sunday School Union — its most brilliant orator — deserves congratulation and encomium. O men of the legal profession, let me beg of you to quit asking questions in regard to religion, and begin believing. If you do not become a Christian, O man of the legal profession, until you can reason this whole thing out in regard to God, and Christ, and the immortality of the soul, you will never become a Christian at all. Only believe. "Bring Zenas the lawyer."

2. Another mighty temptation for the legal profession is to Sabbath breaking. What you cannot do before twelve o'clock Saturday night, or after twelve o'clock Sunday night, God does not want you to do at all. Beside that, you want the twenty-four hours of Sabbath rest to give you that electrical and magnetic force which will be worth more to you before the jury than all the elaboration of your case on the sacred day. Every lawyer is entitled to one day's rest out of seven. If he surrender that, he robs three — God, his own soul, and his client. Lord Castlereagh and Sir Thomas Romilly were the leaders of the bar in their day. They both died suicides. Wilberforce accounts for their aberration of intellect on the ground that they were unintermittent in their work, and they never rested on Sunday. "Poor fellow!" said Wilberforce, in regard to Castlereagh — "Poor fellow! it was nonobservance of the Sabbath." Chief Justice Hale says, "When I do not properly keep the Lord's day, all the rest of the week is unhappy and unsuccessful in my worldly employment."

3. Another powerful temptation of the legal profession is to artificial stimulus. The flower of the American bar, ruined in reputation and ruined in estate, said in his last moments: "This is the end. I am dying on a borrowed bed, covered with a borrowed sheet, in a house built by public charity. Bury me under that tree in the middle of the field, that I may not be crowded; I always have been crowded."

4. Another powerful temptation of the legal profession is to allow the absorbing duties of the profession to shut out thoughts of the great future. You know very well that you who have so often tried others, will after awhile be put on trial yourselves. Death will serve on you a writ of ejectment, and you will be put off these earthly premises. On that day all the affairs of your life will be presented in a "bill of particulars." No certiorari from a higher court, for this is the highest court. The day when Lord Exeter was tried for high treason; the day when the House of Commons moved for the impeachment of Lord Lovatt; the day when Charles I and Queen Caroline were put upon trial; the day when Robert Emmet was arraigned as an insurgent; the day when Blennerhasset was brought into the courtroom because he had tried to overthrow the United States government, and all the other great trials of the world are nothing compared with the great trial in which you and I shall appear, summoned before the Judge of quick and dead. There will be no pleading there "the statute of limitation"; no "turning State's evidence," trying to get off ourselves, while others suffer; no "moving for a non-suit." The case will come on inexorably, and we shall be tried. You, who have so often been advocate for others, will then need an advocate for yourself. Have you selected Him? The Lord Chancellor of the Universe. Lord Ashburton and Mr. Wallace were leading barristers in their day. They died about the same time. A few months before their decease they happened to be at the same hotel in a village, the one counsel going to Devonshire, the other going to London. They had both been seized upon by a disease which they knew would be fatal, and they requested that they be carried into the same room and laid down on sofas, side by side, that they might talk over old times and talk over the future. So they were carried in, and lying there on opposite sofas, they talked over their old contests at the bar, and then they talked of the future world upon which they must soon enter. It was said to have been a very affecting and solemn interview between Mr. Wallace and Lord Ashburton. My friends, my subject today puts you side by side with those men in your profession who have departed this life, some of them sceptical and rebellious, some of them penitent, childlike, and Christian. These were wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever, while these others went up from the courtroom of earth to the throne of eternal dominion. Through Christ, the advocate, these got glorious acquittal. In the other case, it was a hopeless lawsuit. An unpardoned sinner versus the Lord God Almighty. O what disastrous litigation!

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

That nothing be wanting unto them
Ministers ought to abound in the fruits of kindness to one another, and most to those whose circumstances render the expressions of brotherly kindness needful. Probably Titus could not, from his own purse, furnish everything that was needful to his brethren who were travelling in the service of the Churches. But he might, through his influence, do by the hands of others what was not in his own power. The apostle had already said that the doctrine of salvation by grace teaches and constrains men who believe it to maintain good works. And here he calls on the believers under the care of Titus to embrace the occasion that was presented to them, of testifying their faith by their works, and learning to practise the duties by which they were to approve themselves unto God as faithful Christians. There are too many who form good resolves, but when opportunities offer of putting them into practice, suffer them to pass unimproved. They intend to do what they know to be right, but are in no haste to perform it. But let ours, those who belong to our holy society, learn not only to do, but to stand foremost in doing, good works, on all necessary occasions. An opportunity for doing good ought to be as much valued by us as an opportunity for receiving it, for we are sure that "it is more blessed to give than to receive." We know not what opportunities we may afterwards have to do good; but the present opportunity will not return; and we may feel the same disposition to neglect a second and a third as a first opportunity of usefulness. How then shall we approve ourselves fruit-bearing branches in the true vine, and not to be found among the barren branches against whom the terrible sentence is pronounced, that the great Husbandman will take them away, and they shall be gathered, and cast into the fire and burned? "Bring Zenas the lawyer, and Apollos, diligently on their way," and in supplying their necessities let our people learn to excel, or go before others, in good works, that they be not unfruitful. Zenas had probably been a Jewish lawyer. And against that class of men awful things had been spoken by our Lord. Amongst others, it is said that they took away the key of knowledge from men. But the grace of God can make a most effectual change in those from whom least good and most evil is to be expected. He was now travelling with the key of knowledge to open the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to Gentiles as well as Jews. Apollos was a well known and an eminent labourer in the gospel. And those who were not ready to afford encouragement and facilities to such labourers for Christ, and for the souls of men, gave too much reason to suspect that they were themselves barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. Let us be fellow helpers to the truth, that we may not incur the punishment of those who are lukewarm in the cause of Christ (Revelation 3).

(G. Lawson, D. D.)

Christianity hindereth not, but commendeth and enjoineth civil courtesy and all kind of humanity. For —

1. Whatsoever pertaineth to love and good report, that must believers think on and do (Philippians 4).

2. The wisdom which is from above is gentle, peaceable, full of mercy and good fruits (James 3:17).

3. Those many commandments, that Christians should salute and greet one another, and that with a holy kiss (1 Thessalonians 5:26), called by Peter the kiss of love; usual in those East countries, by which outward testimony they declared mutual love and kindness.

4. Outward courtesy is a necessary virtue even for the maintaining of the bond of Christian peace; yea, availeth much for the nourishing and increasing the communion of saints, and society with God's people.

5. How disgraceful a thing were it for the profession of Christ, that such as profess faith in the Lord Jesus should show themselves inhuman or hoggish, who should be as lambs and little children, for such are they who have entered into the kingdom of Christ, as the prophet witnesseth. Let this point, therefore, be well thought of, that as faith and love cannot be separate, so must good conscience and good manners go together.

(T. Taylor, D. D.)

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