Gaius - 3 John 1:1

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 3 John 1:1-10

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Gaius - 3 John 1:1

Gaius. The name Gaius shows up four other times in the NT. In each case, it has to do with someone who was associated with the apostle Paul (see notes on Acts 19:29; 20:4; 1 Cor. 1:14; Rom. 16:23). One was from Derbe, and another from Corinth. This was a very common name, and it is not clear if John is writing to someone Paul knew. John calls him dear friend (translated here as beloved), an important person in the circle of ,friends (v. 15). He may have been the leader of a house church, but that is not clear. He may not have held any authority, unlike Diotrephes (vv. 11-12). John tells Gaius he loves him in truth (v. 3). That could mean he loves him truly, but it probably has a similar meaning to walk in truth (see notes on 2 Jn. 4-8)

3 John 1:2-4

At the beginning of Greco-Roman letters, after the greeting the writer established his or her relationship with the readers. Most of the time this had a wish for the good health of the readers, as well as compliments about the readers’ character or behavior. Writers would also include a prayer that everything would go well for the reader, both materially and spiritually. This greeting is similar to saying “I hope you are well” today. John is praying that all is well with Gaius (see note on 1 Thess. 3:11).

Healthy...it is well - 3 John 1:2

healthyit is well. This verse is not promising Gaius health and success. Christians are not guaranteed those things before Jesus returns, and interpretations that promise prosperity do not have biblical basis. Rather, this is just how ancient letters worked. The themes of success and good health show up in personal letters throughout the Greek world (see note on Rom. 1:10). This is just how a writer greeted a reader. It is like asking, “How are you?”

Commending Hospitality. - 3 John 1:3-10

Gaius was an example for others to follow, because he took care of travelling missionaries. This is the opposite of Diotrephes, who might have been the leader of the house church where Gaius was a member. There are two parts to this section. There is the good example of Gaius (vv. 3-8) and the bad example of Diotrephes (vv. 9-10).

Positive Encouragement - 3 John 1:3-8

The language in v. 3 is almost identical to 2 John 4, where John rejoiced because the children of the chosen lady had been walking in the truth. Here, John has heard reports of how Gaius takes care of travelling missionaries, and rejoices greatly (see note on 2 Jn. 4). John’s messengers saw Gaius’ behavior personally (see notes on 2 Jn. 1-3). Perhaps this would include Demetrius. On walking in truth, see notes on 2 Jn. 4-8.

3 John 1:3-4

See WLC 144

Bore witness to your truth - 3 John 1:3-4

Bore witness to your truthmy children. John’s messengers saw that Gaius was remaining faithful to the way Christians should live. He believed the right things, but he also acted in the right ways. The two are always connected in Johannine literature – knowing and doing. In this letter, the correct action is seen clearly in how he takes care of traveling missionaries. This has made John’s joy complete (see notes on 1 Jn. 1:4; 2 Jn. 4). John calls his readers “my children” fourteen times in 1 John and three times in 2 John. Here, John’s child is Gaius, and his faithfulness has made John’s joy complete. In the ancient world, rabbis and philosophers sometimes called their disciples children. John probably means he brought Gaius to faith (see note on Gal. 4:19). In later Judaism, a person who helped another person convert was said to have created the convert

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