Titus had a tough job ahead.
Paul had written to remind Titus of his mission: “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” (Titus 1:5).
Crete was a tough gig! Finding godly elders would not be easy. The Cretans were a lying and brutish people, lazy, and gluttonous. One of their own philosophers, Epimenides, acknowledged this and Paul quotes him: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” (1:12). “This saying is true,” Paul bluntly adds. (1:13).
Paul continues, “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” (Tit. 2:1). Titus was to stand out, show a difference from the society around him. He then charges Titus on several points of teaching. Paul hopes that by godly living believers in Crete “will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” (v. 10). Why? “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” (v. 11).
I remember a time when I was in hospital, I forget the cause, but I was laying in my bed, alone in the room and in a half-dazed, boredom-induced stare.
Suddenly a nurse walked briskly into the room carrying a large bouquet of flowers! “These are for you,” she said plopping her load on the meal tray beside me then hastening off to her many more urgent duties.
My daze was still lifting as I processed what had just happened. Who sent these, I wondered. Awkwardly I rifled through the foliage for a card.
I forget now just who the giver was except that it was someone from whom I would have least expected to receive flowers. Suddenly, “poof” out of the blue, I was loved and loved by someone whom I least imagined.
This is a picture of the Grace of God. God, whom we offended, whose laws we transgressed, who was Holy and distant from us, has now drawn near, loved with the greatest sacrifice, and invites each of us into fellowship with Him.
“Poof” What a surprise! “…the Grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” He Whom you might have thought all this time offended by you in fact all this time has been loving you… loving even the Cretans… loving sinners! Offend Him, yes indeed, but He has made restitution for the offence. He wants you to know this; He is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (1 Pet. 3:9)… and receive His gift today.