We’ve been talking about exercise and the machines available at my university for my “work out.” [I like to do “reps” with the terms I’m learning about my “core” and my “pecs”]. I’ve actually left off the last two machines that I’ve been using and they are —
The STAIRCLIMBER and the good old TREADMILL. On the STAIRCLIMBER, I can choose a world-famous set of steps to do my “reps.” I choose the LEANING TOWER OF PISA (I’m not making this up), and the machine emulates what it’s like to walk up the 283 steps of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
Now, here’s the thing. I’ve actually walked up the real Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Did it a few years ago with my wife (it was quite disorienting for her — she’s used to riding a bike bolted to the floor going nowhere) –on June 5th — our anniversary! (Not many guys can say they did that on their anniversary!)
On the STAIRCLIMBER I only get about 30% up the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” simulation before I quit, but that’s not the point. The real point is we’re finishing up our study of the little letter of Paul to Titus on the issue of SPIRITUAL HEALTH. We looked at the closing words of this epistle and raised a few questions. Let me give my answer to the first two questions, then our last post will complete our study.
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. Grace be with you all.
1. What do we learn of Paul’s co-workers Artemas or Tychicus (verse 12) elsewhere in the New Testament? Artemas is not mentioned in any other Scriptures that I could find. But we do learn a few things about Tychicus. He is mentioned in Acts 20 along with other traveling companions who went with Paul through Macedonia. In Ephesians, Paul refers to Tychicus as “the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord,” and trusts him to give an accurate report of Paul’s condition and work (6:21). Likewise in Colossians Paul says that Tychicus will tell them “all the news about me,” describing him as “a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord” (4:7). Both 2 Timothy 4:12 and our text (Titus 3:12) tell us that Paul sends Tychicus out on mission.
2. What’s your very best LAWYER joke? Are Zenas and Apollos mentioned in any other passages in the New Testament? My best lawyer joke (gotten from a lawyers’ webpage collection: “As the lawyer awoke from surgery, he asked, ‘Why are all the blinds drawn?’ The nurse answered, ‘There’s a fire across the street, and we didn’t want you to think you had died.'” (sorry)
Apollos is mentioned several times in the New Testament. In Acts 18 we learn that he is a Jew, a native of Alexandria, and a “learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures” (v. 24).
He receives approval and commendation from the Christians in Ephesus to go to Achaia — and was warmly received and “was a great help to those who by grace had believed” (Acts 18:27). Apollos also spends some time in Corinth (Acts 19:1).
We learn from I Corinthians 1 that some of the Corinthians had divided themselves into Apollos-followers. Paul rebukes them for following mere men (I Corinthians 1:12; 3:4-6), mere instuments in God’s hands (“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow,” 3:6).
Paul rebukes the Corinthians for boasting in human leaders and says, “So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”
There is one other reference to Apollos and it is in I Corinthians 16. There Paul writes, “Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.” (to be continued)