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3 John

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Praying for Health

3 John 1:1-2

John describes himself as 'The Elder'. Certainly he was getting old by the time he wrote this letter to Gaius, but he was also a church leader who had spiritual oversight and godly care for this man. Although John was a disciple who had been personally commissioned by Jesus, he does not assert his apostleship but uses a pastoral title. John cared for Gaius and everything that concerned him.

Faithful Persistence

3 John 1:3-4

John had previously written to a godly lady with a similar message about her children (2 John 1:4): he now repeats it personally to Gaius. John found great joy in seeing that the life of Christ was growing in Gaius. He demonstrated a faithful, consistent and persistent practical faith. Despite so many setbacks for the church, and many of the other apostles had been persecuted to death, this man's lifestyle proved that Jesus was still alive, and living in the changed heart of a faithful man. The gospel flame was still alight!

Hospitality to Missionaries

3 John 1:5-8

Gaius, the man John was writing to, was a godly man who believed what the apostles taught. He had not embraced false teaching and his faith was commended by John (3 John 1:3). Now we discover that he had a wonderful ministry of hospitality. The churches were growing so fast, partly because they appointed suitable people to be sent out as missionaries to preach the gospel and plant new churches.

Avoid Copying Bad Role Models

3 John 1:9-11

God gives gifts to enable us to serve Him better, but we have to learn to use them well. John's letter to Gaius was to encourage him in the gift of hospitality, to stretch him to be more generous to travelling missionaries, but also to warn him not to follow bad examples.

Good Ministry Examples

3 John 1:12-14

After warning Gaius not to follow the ungodly example of Diotrephes, a proud and controlling church leader (3 John 1:9-11), John points to Demetrius as a reliable role model in ministry. That man was transparent to the church; he had no hidden agenda, he was a servant of Jesus Christ whose ministry was endorsed by the apostles.

Such men are a blessing to the church, not only by their fine godly service but because they inspire others to use their gifts in a way which pleases the Lord.