(1-4) Paul’s introduction is a little different because of the situation. He’s writing to another protege in ministry, whose job was to help get churches up and running on the island of Crete. Paul, as his mentor, is not just an evangelist, but is there to “further the faith of the chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is keeping with godliness.” This expanded definition of his ministry makes a lot of sense when we consider these letters he is writing to various churches!
(5-9) If Titus is supposed to appoint leadership, he needs to appoint godly leadership! Paul’s guidelines fall into three categories: leaders must have godly character, leaders must have a godly household, and leaders must be faithful to the truth. Faithfulness to the truth is important because elders must be able to confront false teachers and recognize false teaching.
(10-16) Paul identifies false teachers as those who ferment controversy, promote Judaism (i.e. the idea that keeping the law is what keeps you saved), and teach for money. Apparently this kind of deception comes naturally to the natives! It seems that there were some that still taught that the dietary laws were in effect, but this emphasis on the unimportant aspects of the law didn’t affect their overall morality. They were still “detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed.“
Is there an overall truth to take away from this, other than the obvious applications for choosing church leadership? Perhaps this: know and live the truth well enough that you can tell when others don’t know and live the truth!