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. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing.” (Titus 3:12–13 (ESV)
As was the Apostle’s Paul literary custom, he concluded his letter to Titus by mentioning fellow servants and disciples of Jesus. These followers specifically included Artemas, Tychicus, Zenas and Apollos. What do we know of these individuals?
“Artemas was a Christian coworker with Paul, whom the apostle considered as a replacement for Titus on the island of Crete (Titus 3:12). Later tradition describes Artemas as bishop of Lystra,” explains Walter A Elwell in the Tyndale Bible Dictionary. Aside from Paul’s mention of Artemas in today’s text, nothing else is known.
There is more information concerning Tychicus. He was one of the believers who accompanied Paul to collect and deliver an offering for the Jerusalem Church (Acts 20:1-4). He is also mentioned with Trophimus of Ephesus, and was likely also a native of that city. He served as the courier for Paul’s letter to Ephesus (Eph. 6:21), Philemon and the Colossians (Col. 4:7). Tychicus was involved with the delivery of these so-called Prison Epistles.
“Most believe that he was also one of the two Christians (with Trophimus) who accompanied Titus in the delivery of 2 Corinthians (2 Cor. 8:16–24). Paul mentioned Tychicus twice in his later letters, first sending him to Crete to be with Titus (Titus 3:12), and later mentioning to Timothy that he had sent Tychicus to Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:12). Evidently, Tychicus and Paul were close friends as well as coworkers, since Paul frequently referred to Tychicus as a “beloved brother,” states Elwell.
Zenas was a lawyer and Paul requested Titus help with his travels to Crete (Titus 3:13). Aside from this, nothing else is known of him.
Much more is known about Apollos. He was an Alexandrian Jew (Acts 18:24). The name is abbreviated from Apollonius. He came to Ephesus in ad 52 during Paul’s visit to Palestine (Acts 18:22). He had accurate knowledge of the story of Jesus. He combined natural gifts of eloquence, or learning, with an understanding of the Old Testament. He was also enthusiastic in proclaiming biblical truth as he knew it (Acts 18:24–25).
There was a conspicuous gap in his knowledge concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the ordinance of believers’ baptism. Aquila and Priscilla patiently instructed him (Acts 18:26). From Ephesus, Apollos went on to Corinth. He was an expert at Christian apologetics when dealing with the Jews (Acts 18:27–28). He ultimately had a fruitful ministry at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:12; 3:1-6, 21-23; 4:6; 16:12). ).
“He is last mentioned in Titus 3:13 as making some sort of journey,” concludes R.E. Nixon in The New Bible Dictionary.
Why was it important for Paul to mention these four men? Aside from the historical reasons given in the text, it shows that even the most inconspicuous disciples of Jesus are profitable in the Kingdom of God. There is no such thing as an unimportant servant of Christ.
Wherever, and however, you currently serve the Lord, rest assured that it has merit and value in bringing glory to God (I Peter 4:10-11). Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!