Putting God's Word into Practice…

3 John ~ Tale of Two People

on March 25, 2014

This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.  Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.  Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your FAITHFULNESS and that you are living according to the TRUTH. I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.  Dear friend, you are being FAITHFUL TO GOD when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your LOVING FRIENDSHIP.  Please continue PROVIDING for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.  For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. (v. 1-8)

Gaius is noted as being faithful, generous, loving and hospitable.  He works diligently to support the people who are teaching truth about Jesus.  Those who teach the truth selflessly and humbly for the sake of Christ alone are to be provided for financially and materially by those who benefit from their ministry in a way that pleases God–in a manner that is worthy of God.  That is one way God has designed for each believer to partner in the advancement of the Good News!

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the traveling teachers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. (vs. 9-10)

Diotrephes is a selfish, prideful, inhospitable, slandering, controlling leader in the church.  He badmouths other Christian leaders.  He prohibits people from fulfilling their God-given responsibility to care for the teachers–maybe he thinks they don’t deserve to be compensated or provided for.  His behavior is exactly opposite of Gaius’; which means he is not walking in truth.

Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good.  Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. (v. 11)

One of the men above is worthy of imitating, the other is not.  People who do good prove that they know and belong to God.  There is no room for greedy, selfish, prideful personalities among God’s children–we must be marked by faithfulness, love, and generosity.


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