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3 John Chapter 1

1 The elder to Gaius the beloved, whom I love in truth.

2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be healthy, even as your soul prospers.

3 For I rejoiced greatly when brothers came and testified about your truth, even as you walk in truth.

4 I have no greater joy than this: to hear about my children walking in truth.

5 Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers.

6 They have testified about your love before the assembly. You will do well to send them forward on their journey in a way worthy of God,

7 because for the sake of the Name they went out, taking nothing from the Gentiles.

8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

9 I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first amongst them, doesn't accept what we say.

10 Therefore if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words. Not content with this, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and those who would, he forbids and throws out of the assembly.

11 Beloved, don't imitate that which is evil, but that which is good. He who does good is of God. He who does evil hasn't seen God.

12 Demetrius has the testimony of all, and of the truth itself; yes, we also testify, and you know that our testimony is true.

13 I had many things to write to you, but I am unwilling to write to you with ink and pen;

14 but I hope to see you soon. Then we will speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.


Version: World English Bible

3 John Chapter 1 Guide

It is probable that the Gaius to whom this letter was sent is the Gaius of Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:14). Its subject is hospitality as revealing love, and the apostle uttered a warning against schism. As in the letter to the "elect lady," the keynote is Truth. In that John warned against false hospitality. Here he commands true hospitality. He charged Gaius to set forth certain evangelists "worthily of God." This is a remarkable phrase, and probably means, first, that Gaius was to see in these men the messengers of God, and, second, that he was to act as a child of God.

In striking contrast to Gaius stands Diotrephes. The whole truth about him is revealed in the words "Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence." That is the essential violation of love. His heterodoxy was of spirit and temper rather than of intellect.

Another character introduced in the letter is Demetrius. In all probability he was the bearer of the letter, and John quoted him in direct contrast to Diotrephes.

The central statement of the epistle is in the words, "He that doeth good is of God: he that doeth evil hath not seen God." Doing good is to be interpreted by the subject of the letter, namely, hospitality. Those who thus act in love do so because they are of God, that is, related to Him in the fellowship of life. Such were Gaius and Demetrius. Those who act selfishly do so because they have no fellowship with God. The writer closes with words anticipatory of a meeting, and a message of peace.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.