December 9th 3 John
A. Gaius Greetings
1: The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Prayers for prosperity
2: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3: For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Commendation for hospitality
5: Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6: Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7: Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8: We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
B. Diotrephes Diotrephes separates
9: I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10: Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
Follow good & shun evil
11: Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
C. Demetrius Demetrius commended
12: Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
See you soon
13: I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 14: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
This is another little letter from John to a friend and believer. John gives him a typical Jewish greeting. He says he wishes that he might prosper in life and in health to the same degree as their spiritual wellbeing. John says that he has written to the church but he wants to say more about Diotrephes. He says about him that he loves to have first place. In other words he likes to be in charge. And not only that but he refuses to receive the apostles. He says that when he comes to the church he will remember what he has done. Then John lists his misdemeanours. He has been malicious to John in word and not just that but he has been a divisive force in the churches. He does not receive the brethren and excommunicates those who do. This is the spirit of exclusivism creeping into the churches. It is a great evil, because it separates the body of Christ. John gives them a general exhortation to do good, i.e. to live righteously. John commends Demetrius. Then he closes with a desire to come and see them in person.
- What would you be like if you were as healthy in body as you are in spirit?