Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 3 John 1:3-10

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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

Show hospitality to brothers - 3 John 1:5-8

brotherswelcome. Now John gets into the first major issue of the letter. Gaius has done a good job at showing hospitality to missionaries. He has an important ministry. It is possible that the travelling missionaries turned to Gaius for help because Diotrephes refused to help them (vv. 11-12). Regardless, these missionaries were strangers to Gaius when he first met them (v. 5), but Gaius still helped them (v. 6). They did not get any help from non-Christians, but only Gaius (v. 7). Therefore, John talks about how important this ministry of support is for missionaries (v. 8). This is all about Christians showing love for one another. They did not support everyone, but had to resist false teaching by not showing hospitality to them (see notes on 1 Jn. 4:1-3; 2 Jn. 10-11).

Sending missionaries - 3 John 1:6

send them off on their journey. This phrase about sending missionaries translates a form of a verb that was a technical term for missionary support in the early church (see notes on Acts 15:3; 20:38; 21:5; Rom. 15:24; 1 Cor. 16:6, 11; 2 Cor. 1:16; Tit. 3:13). This probably has to do with sending missionaries on with supplies for their journey. Hospitality was a major issue for Jews, because Greco-Roman inns were also brothels. Jewish people sought out other Jewish people to stay with, and they would bring a letter that recommended them as good Jews. Christians probably adopted the same practice so they could stay with one another

For the sake of Jesus - 3 John 1:7

for the sake of the name. That is, for the sake of Jesus. This phrase is used five other times in the NT, and most of the time it has to do with people being persecuted because they are Christians (see notes on Acts 5:41; 9:16; 15:26; 21:13). John also talks about the opponents going out from the community, but they go out to deceive other people (see note on 2 Jn. 7). These missionaries went out to preach the gospel they had heard from the apostles in the beginning. Gentiles. John uses Gentile here in the sense of non-Christian. If the missionaries had gotten help from nonbelievers, it would mean the Christians in that area were not doing their job of taking care of traveling ministers. The word here specifically means Gentile individuals with Gentile beliefs (see notes on Matt. 5:47; 6:7; 18:17). This is similar to how Jesus told his disciples that if a sinful person would not listen to the church, the church should treat them like a Gentile (Matt. 18:17)

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