Saturday, 17 October 2015
If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 2 Corinthians 8:23
The words “anyone inquires” are inserted by the translators and they may or may not convey the proper sense of what is being intended. In Greek, the idea here could more clearly be stated “As to Titus” or “Regarding Titus.” In other words, as there were factions at Corinth (which is addressed in detail in 1 Corinthians), some of the church might question Titus’ authority to conduct the affairs that he will carry on. It also could be that Paul had heaped such praise upon the others that are going with Titus (as noted in verses 18 and 22), that he felt it was necessary to also show that Titus has the same level of approval and is just as trustworthy as he noted they are.
And so to bolster Titus in the eyes of those in Corinth, he says that “he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you.” As a “partner,” Titus is placed on an equal footing with Paul at least in the labors which they conduct. As a “fellow worker,” Titus is shown to have the same end goal for the labors with which they labored. They are, in essence, a harmonious team concerning the church in Corinth.
Continuing on, he says, “Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.” If questions were to arise concerning the other brethren, Paul lets them know that they are speaking on behalf of the churches and are not working independently of them.
The word here for “messengers” is from the Greek word meaning “apostles.” In this case, it is used in the non-technical sense of “delegates.” As there is no article in front of the word “apostles,” it indicates that they are not of the chosen “apostles” who are delegates of Christ, but are rather “apostles” in the lower sense of those who are “delegates for the churches.”
Paul’s final words, “the glory of Christ,” show that these men had such favorable reputations, and were to be considered so trustworthy, that they actually displayed in themselves the glory of Christ. They brought such honor to the churches that they reflected His glory in every way.
Life application: As Paul has shown consistently in his words, it is right and proper to acknowledge those who minister on behalf of others, not just in words of praise, but in words of trust. We can say, “This person is a really nice guy,” and yet not tell the entire story that needs to be told. By adding in, “This person can be fully trusted,” they are elevated to an entirely new level in the eyes of the recipients of those words. Be ready to support those who have shown themselves faithful in this way.
Heavenly Father, glorious God – I am so thankful for those who have been placed in my path of life who have had such a strong and positive influence over me. It would be impossible to remember them all, but You know who they are and how they have molded and guided me in ways either little or great, but which have brought me to where I am as a person. Thank You for the path of life You have placed me on which has included these wonderful souls. Praise You for Your guiding hand of care in my life. Amen.