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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

November 20, 2013

3rd John 1-14

  1. Verse 1. This third letter of John was written to a friend name Gaius who was a faithful member of the body of Christ. Four times in this text the apostle calls Gaius a friend and twice highlights his faithfulness. This would imply that the two had a strong friendship in the faith. Most likely Gaius was a person who was mentored by John in the faith and they became good friends in the process. The apostle also uses the word “truth” five times in this letter as well. John feels a need to write to Gaius concerning some issues that he has heard about.

  2. Verses2-4. Verse two is a common greeting that one would make as a sender offering well wishes to the one who would receive the correspondence. John prays that Gaius is doing well physically and spiritually. John had heard of Gaius’s spiritual well-being and John hopes that he is doing well physically. Verse two has often been hijacked by the health and wealth crowd as a primer verse to support the teaching that we are to all be wealthy and healthy. Just reading the next verse teaches us that the apostle was much more concerned and excited about the prospering of Gaius’s soul than his health. John highlights that he has heard about Gaius faithfulness to the truth from the other brothers and that news has brought him great joy. As a matter of fact in verse 4, John states that he cannot think of anything bringing him greater joy than seeing some of those that he had taught walk in the truth. John was filled with great joy to know that Gaius was still holding onto the teachings that he had learned from the beginning and that he had not succumbed to the seductive teachings of those who tried to infiltrate the faith and lead believers astray.

  3. Verses 5-8. John wants to formally thank Gaius for his hospitality to those who labor on the mission fields preaching the Gospel. Gaius had helped many of the faithful preachers as they traveled ministering the word of God. John shares that Gaius faithfulness was underscored by the fact that those who he helped were strangers to him, but nonetheless he helped them like real brothers in the faith should. The brothers who were helped told the church about Gaius’s generosity and hospitality. John encourages Gaius to keep up the good work and continue being hospitable. This hospitality was needed especially since the traveling preachers received very little help. As a matter of fact they were often accosted and harassed by the pagans who wanted to prevent them from sharing their faith. Gaius becomes important not because he was a great preacher, but because he was demonstrating the love of Christ to those who were preaching. Gaius was helping the spread of the gospel by supporting those who faithfully labor in the teaching and preaching ministry. Gaius became a co-labor in the preaching of the gospel and the teaching of the truth of God.

  4. Verses 9-10. The apostle shares that he had written a letter concerning helping the brothers who preach, but the letter was intercepted by a wicked brother in the fellowship by the name of Diotrephes, who “loved to be first.” This probably meant he wanted to be the top dog and was threatened by anyone else who taught with authority. His real motives were seen by his desire to keep any of the other preachers from having the ability to share in the fellowship. This brother would spread rumors and persecute any of the other preachers as well as forcing out anyone who supported anyone but him. John shares that he will call this brother out when he arrives. John will expose his lies and gossip when he comes. Diotrephes was a brother who saw the fellowship as a way to get power, not to promote the gospel. His motives were selfish in nature and wicked in intent.

  5. Verses 11-12. John’s advice to Gaius, do not imitate that which is evil, but good. Diotrephes is someone who should NOT be imitated. John tells Gaius that if he is looking for a model in ministry, imitate Demetrius. Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone and his actions are lined up with the truth. It is not bad to imitate someone in the faith whose actions are lined up with the truth. John gives three witnesses to the actions of Demetrius, the church, the truth, and himself (John). Diotrephes on the other hand has a bad reputation according to the church, the truth, and the apostle. Diotrephes would probably say they are just “haters,” but in this case his haters are correct because he is not lined up with the truth.

  6. Verses 13-14. The apostles shares that he has much to write, but his intentions are to come in person and settle the matters. Some things you must do in person. He closes the letter saying that he hopes to see Gaius soon and that the other believers send their greetings as well.

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