Again, the author of this letter identifies himself as elder and it is believed that John is the author. He is writing to someone named Gaius, it is unknown if Gaius is the same that is mentioned in other parts of the new testament, or if he is someone new altogether. But it is obviously someone that John thinks a lot of.
“The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.” 3 John 1-4
Gaius is apparently someone that John had mentored and he looked on as a child to him. John prays for him, his health as well as his soul. He is rejoicing at the fact that Gaius is walking in the truth and it brings him great joy. Isn’t that the end goal of raising children? Sure it’s nice when our children grow up to be successful and to be doing well financially and in their lives. But the most important thing and the thing that will bring us true joy about raising our children is to point them to Jesus and to know that they are walking in the truth.
John goes on to praise Gaius for his ministry. Apparently Gaius shows hospitality to his fellow Christians and to strangers that come his way. John may be talking about other ministers who travel through. Back in those days there were ministers who would travel around spreading the gospel and would look to churches for support. John did not want these ministers to look to non christians for support but felt that they should be supported by fellow christians.
“Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” 3 John 8
In much the same way we are to support our pastors and ministries with our tithes and offerings.
John also speaks against those who want to put themselves on a pedestal. He calls someone by name, Diotrephes.
“I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who like to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.” 3 John 9
This is an indication to us all that there will always be some people in the church who do not have the gospel in mind, but want to put themselves first. John is warning that when he comes he will bring it all up to them. But he gives Gaius a warning in writing too.
“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 11
Well that is just putting it plainly. There will always be in our midst even in our church people who have their own agendas more than the agenda of God. If you feel a warning from the Holy Spirit, pay attention. Look at their actions, are they promoting evil or are they promoting good?
In John’s final greeting to Gaius he lets Gaius know that he much prefers face to face meetings over writing letters. Another way we know that we are built for community.
This is a short book but packed with some pretty good scripture. With that we will leave it with the final statement.
“Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.” 3 John 15