Restlessness of a Brother and a Father
Apostles Paul and Barnaba have been working together since the Holy Ghost has asked that they should be set aside for the work, special work, before them. However, a juncture was reached in the journey of their being together that led to their separation.
After their separation an added burden was placed on each of them in their respective positions as leaders. Although the bible does not say much about Barnaba because he perhaps was not much gifted a writer like Apostle Paul. I said this because much of the new testament works were centered on apostle Paul’s documentations. And we all know that in no where in the bible was it stated that Apostle Barnaba backslid, this thence means he has been up and doing where he moved to too, but because he was not a writer like Paul, much of his actions and words were not in prints as well as many other apostles and disciples.
Due to this I will focus on apostle Paul who now must ensure that he leads his subjects right, tutor them on the things of the Lord as expected of a leader. It is what he said about one of his subjects that “I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.” (2 Co 2:13) that shall be examined.
In understanding this article, I will want us to see some few points from this verse like the meaning of the spirit here, rest being talked about, why he was restless, why do I use father and brother, causes and effects of restlessness.
What Restlessness Mean
Restlessness is a noun. Restless is defined as unable to stay still or be happy where you are, because you are bored or need changes.
Having seen the definition of restlessness, shall we see from the bible what the apostle said that I want us to examine.
“I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.” (2 Co 2:13)
The Greek word for “no” in the verse is “οὐ”, Romanized form is ou (pronounced as oo) which means nothing, without.
Let us see the meaning of what follows without in the verse. The word is rest. Rest in Greek is said to be “ἄνεσις”, Romanized form is anesis (phonetic spelling is an'-es-is) which means eased, liberty.
The apostle says he was without liberty neither was he at ease when he couldn’t find Titus. He was restless, unhappy, sad, for not finding him.
The Center of His Restlessness
He stated the initial position of his restlessness to be within his spirit, human spirit, but not the Holy Ghost inside of him. Many people believe that man is made up of spirit, soul and body. Some people merge the spirit and soul together and say man is made up of soul and body. In this soul is believed to be the human spirit. It is this human spirit, his (Apostle Paul’s) spirit that he said was not at ease when he couldn’t see his brother, Titus.
Some bible teachers in their commentary of this place says that apostle Paul demonstrated humility here by calling Titus his brother, because he was far his junior spiritually and physically. Pupil in her commentary says, it shows his affection and respect for the young man, because he was a laborer in the vineyard of God with distinction.
Why I used a Father and a Brother for Apostle Paul
The verse under purview of this article shows the apostle calling Titus his brother in faith. Apostle Paul followed the steps of Jesus for calling his disciples friend when he was alive.
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (Joh 15:14)
He considered him a brother in faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, we all are in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are brethren in him.
However, when he was writing a direct letter to him, he called him his son after the common faith, in Titus chapter 1.
“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” (Tit 1:4)
The apostle fits into the same class for in this part of the land, there is a proverb that one’s first child is called one’s junior. He was his spiritual father and his brother in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, because in him we are the same, because it is the salvation, he receives in Jesus that we all received. It is the salvation he received in Jesus that Titus also received.
Causes of Restlessness
I will like us to see some of the reasons for his restlessness.
1. His Absence
Apostle Paul had sent Titus to Corinth church and was expecting him back at Troas according to the instruction he has given him before leaving him, but contrary to expectation, Titus could not make it back to Troas.
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.” (2 Co 2:12-13)
When we expect someone at a place, and we couldn’t find the person there as agreed we would become restless inside of us. This was what happened to him.
2. His Experience
His experience may have been one of the causes of his restlessness to the non-appearance of Titus.
“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
“Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
“In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
“In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” (2 Co 11:24-27)
We can see some of the terrible experiences he had in the hands of people during his ministering. He may also be thinking that his spiritual son was in some kinds of troubles that led to the delay.
3. Bored Because of Loneliness
He may have been bored discharging his ministerial duties alone. He who has been discharging his duties in company of his followers is now relatively alone to discharge the duties. The burden may be somehow on him and attending to this and that may be much on him which makes him feel his absence at the time he should return, for he has been hoping that he would return before he leaves Troas, and because he did not return then he couldn’t follow through the opened door before him, he allowed it to be closed back.
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,” (2 Cor 2:12)
Loneliness is not good. It is better when you are yet to have a partner of the same mind, but after having a partner of the same mind and something happened to cause separation between you, you will feel the heat. This suggests why some becomes depressed where their loving spouse died, and they would not live long after then before dying themselves.
4. False Information
He may have received false information about the trip which makes him become restless. False information has a far-reaching effect on humans.
An example of this was when false information was given to King Saul that Absalom his son had killed all the heirs, he was restless when he heard the news until the false information was cleared.
“And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
“Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
“And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.” (2 Sa 13:30-32)
5. For His Love
Apostle Paul was restless because of his love for Titus his brother and son. When one loves his partner very well, you will always want him to be near you always. This may have been the issue with apostle Paul. Though he sends him the message to Corinth church, but he yet desires him to be nigh him always.
Effects of Restlessness
Having seen some of the things that could have caused his restlessness, let us see some of the effects of restlessness.
Restlessness is associated with sadness, for the person would not be happy. Everything would seem bleak to him or her.
(ii) Pendulum Like Movement
The person would be moving “to and fro” like a pendulum always anxious to see his partner, this was what was happening to him such that he lost focus and would allow for the opened door to be closed.
(iii) There Would be no Peace
As he says that his spirit was restless, it means he has no peace within him. When there is no peace one would not be able to think straight. This he knows and thence in his epistle to the Philippians prayed that the peace of God fills their hearts.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:7)
(iv) Untoward Thoughts
Untoward thoughts may fill his heart as to what could likely have happened to his son. These thoughts we are admonished that we should not allow it to dwell in our lives, but we should fill our hearts with positive and good thoughts.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Php 4:8)
(v) Could Not Follow Through the Opened Door
The door to preach the gospel effectively could not be followed through, and the means to do good things could not be successfully practiced because of the restlessness of the spirit that he has. Restlessness as could be seen here makes one lose opportunities.
(vi) Could Lead to Depression
This restlessness could result in depression if not quickly removed, I guess that was why he had to leave the place for Macedonia where he would meet with people whom he has been familiar with, because iron sharpens iron.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Pro 27:17)
Those who are depressed one of the counseling given them or their people is that they would not be left alone, that people who know them should move close to them.
Paul was restless because he
couldn’t find the person he loves, the reputable, dependable and reliable partner, who was Titus, and because he does not want the restlessness to degenerate further, he had to leave the place for another place. When we are restless we should guide and guard our thoughts by the word of God and it would be good to move close to people of like mind, people whom we know have the same mind like us who will help us through those times so that the restlessness would neither weigh us down nor result in another negative things in our lives.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN