Today we move on to 3 John, and again as yesterday I would say this is another tucked away letter from the NT which we can easily miss in terms of hearing about or reading for ourselves.
This letter might be described as the mirror image of 2 John. That letter was giving a warning about listening to or giving hospitality to heretical travelling evangelists or teachers.
3 John is all about commending an individual Gaius (v.1), for providing hospitality and support to orthodox missionaries, probably sent out by John himself, in contrast to one of the local leaders, Diotrephes (v.9) ‘who loves to be first’. What a damning description of him as a person, let alone his actions as one who gossips maliciously, refuses to welcome the brothers, and excommunicates from the church those who do welcome them (vs.10-11).One Bible commentator describes Gaius as a Christian friend, but Diotrephes as a Christian fraud.
And what is the key to Gaius’ godly actions, even when there is opposition within his local church? He is one who is faithful to the truth and walks in the truth (vs.3-4), and shows practical love (v.6), particularly to fellow believers.
And truth and love are themes which echo much of John’s previous 2 letters, and attributes which we today should desire more and more.
From our extended church address list, please remember in your prayers today, Sally and Terry, that now we are meeting again regularly in the church building they may re-join us, or that some of us may have the opportunity to invite them.