12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
Verse 12 commences the conclusion of the epistle to Titus (vv. 12-15). The conclusion gave final directions and greetings to Titus.
12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus,
Paul would send Artemas or Tychicus to Crete to take over Titus’s responsibilities there. This is the only mention of Artemas in the New Testament. Paul had a network of those with whom he ministered.
Tychicus was Paul’s traveling companion, personal representative, and faithful servant (Ac 20:4; Eph 6:21-22; Co 4:7-8; 2 Ti 4:12). We learn from 2 Timothy 4:10,12 (a later book than Titus) that Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus and Titus to Dalmatia (up the coast from Nicopolis). This might mean that Artemas went to Crete.
be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis [literally, city of victory],
Paul wanted Titus to come to Nicopolis. Nicopolis was on the Adriatic Sea on the western coast of Greece. It was the largest city on the west coast. Nicopolis was a natural launching point to Dalmatia (2 Ti 4:10). Nicopolis was strategic for reaching the west where the gospel had not gone, especially Spain. This might have been the reason for Titus’s diligence in coming to Nicopolis.
for I have decided to spend the winter there.
The Greek indicates that Paul made a settled decision to go to Nicopolis for the winter. Travel by sea was difficult during the winter. Nicopolis was a strategic launching point for further mission work, especially to areas where no one had taken the gospel yet.
Leaders need time to set goals and organize ministry.
Sometimes Christians keep pressing on in ministry without time for reflection. It is important to take out time to reflect on and reexamine God’s will for a ministry. Ministries at times need rejigging and realignment to the will of God. Churches should take note of this in order to give their pastors time to plan for ministry.