Exposition of the 3rd Epistle of 3rd John By Rashie Kennedy
There are two Johns in the New Testament, John the Baptist, and John the Apostle. The Apostle wrote this 3rd Epistle. The subject emphasizes sincerity, hospitality, and Christian character.
This Epistle has three characters, Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius. Two of the three are good, one is bad. A great commendation, Gaius, is a good character seen in verses 1-8. He shows love, brotherly love! John commends him and expresses his love to Gaius. "The elder to the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth."
When you look up the reference on Gaius, you find him to be a helper to the Apostle Paul as well as to John. John dearly loves Gaius as he expresses in v. 1. He shows that brotherly love is what all Christians should show toward each other in the whole world.
One way to do this is to pray for them. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. I pray for them daily!
In verse 2 John puts soul prosperity as more important. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospers." Soul prosperity begins with being saved.
Born Again- John3:3. Once we are saved, our soul will prosper according to our exercise in prayer, Bible study and witnessing.
Practicing verse 2 will cause us to prosper in health and spirituality. The fruit of the spirit will show up in our daily life, Gal.5:22. Verse 22 is the only way to go for soul prosperity. It says, "The fruit of the Spirit is Love." God is Love. When we have God in our hearts we have Love. When we have Jesus Christ in our hearts we have Love. When we are born again, born of the Spirit we have Love. Love covers a multitude of sins.
Galatians 5:22, "Joy". The Joy of the Spirit is real. 3rd John, verse 3, John is happy and rejoices in the fact that Gaius testifies to the truth and also walks in the truth. Verse 3 also continues, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life,' so it means that Gaius is walking with Jesus.
Verse 4, "I have no greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth. Verses 5-8 tell what it means to walk in truth. It means to help others. Gaius helps Paul in his ministries. Here he is helping John in his great missionary work. Gaius is doing what every Christian should do. Verse 5. He helps the brethren. First, he shows fidelity, faithfulness to God and to man. Moses is a good example. Numbers 12: 7. "The Lord said: my servant Moses is faithful in all my house." Gaius is also faithful to strangers. Strangers might include all races and colors of people. "Jesus loves the little children of the world!" Verse 6. Gaius witnesses to his brothers and strangers his brotherly love and his charity in the church. All of our churches need more men like Gaius. They would grow and abound in reaching the world for Christ.
Diotrephes - A Bad Church Officer
Diotrephes takes for granted that he can run the church, verses 9-11. John says, "I wrote unto the church, but Diotrephes loveth to have preeminence among them receiveth us not." He does not regard nor receive God's man of authority. (John) He has great ambition. He exalts himself. How sad and how bad!
Verse 4. These people are converts of John. John calls them his children, and they are walking in truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." Diotrephes is a bigot and slanders John by speaking malicious words and also tries to put John's converts out of the church, and any member of the church trying to help John get the church established. Diotrephes puts them out of the church!
Pastoring churches over a period of over 5o years, I have seen Diotrephes in most of them. Diotrephes was a bad character, but John goes on and speaks of a good character, Demetrius. Verse 12. He has a good report of all men and a report that all desire. If one wants a good report he must be faithful in Christ.
This is John's view of the three men and his recommendation to all his converts. He says, "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."
So many times, due to family ties and other associates, even good members will take sides with the bad. Also for lack of understanding, John is encouraging the good members to follow Gaius and Demetrius, the good examples, and turn away from the bad characters. In so doing we can all serve Christ better. Let all
Christians take heed, and set a good example like the two good ones John writes about. It was said of Moses, "The Lord said of Moses, Moses is faithful in all mine house! Amen!!
Rashie Kennedy (C) Feb. 2002
235 N. NC41
Beulaville, NC 28518