3 John

BY special invitation or with a surprise knock, company arrives and with them comes the promise of soiled floors, extra laundry, dirty dishes, altered schedules, personal expense, and inconvenience. From sharing a meal to providing a bed, hospitality costs . . . in time, energy, and money. But how we treat others reflects our true values—what is really important to us. Do we see people as objects or inconveniences, or as unique creations of a loving God? And which is more important to God, a person or a carpet? Perhaps the most effective way to demonstrate God’s values and Christ’s love to others is to invite and welcome guests into our home. For Gaius, hospitality was a habit, and his reputation for friendship and generosity, especially to traveling teachers and missionaries (1:5), had spread. To affirm and thank Gaius for his Christian life–style, and to encourage him in his faith, John wrote this personal note. John’s format for this letter centers around three men: Gaius, the example of one who follows Christ and loves others (1:1-8); Diotrephes, the self-proclaimed church leader who does not reflect God’s values (1:9-11); and Demetrius, who also follows the truth (1:12). John encourages Gaius to practice hospitality, continue to walk in the truth, and do what is right. Although this is a personal letter, we can “look over the shoulder” of Gaius and apply its lessons to our life. As you read 3 John, with which man do you identify? Are you a Gaius, generously giving to others? a Demetrius, loving the truth? or a Diotrephes, looking out for yourself and your “things”? Determine to reflect Christ’s values in your relationships, opening your home and touching others with his love. 

To commend Gaius for his hospitably and to encourage him in his Christian life

Date Written
Approximately A.D 90 from Ephesus

Key Verse
Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers 3 John 1:5

3 John Bible Study Download