- 3 John 1-5
- 3 John like 2 John was written between the time of 80-95 A.D. This
letter like 2 John was addressed to an individual named Gaius but the main
topic is the Christians walking in truth and obedience. This small letter
also mentions missionary activity in verses 5 to 8. The truth is a central
theme of this letter as well as John’s other letters.
- 3 John 1 (KJB)
- The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
- Here John begins his letter to Gaius (Gaius means I am happy). Gaius may
have been led to the Lord by John as we will see in the language of verse 4.
There is no specific geographic location given but was probably in the area
of Asia Minor as the other two letters were. It was at this time that
Emperor Domitian was on the throne in Rome (81-96 A.D.) and under him was
another great persecution of the Christians. This may be the reason why John
left no location so there would be no persecution of the recipients.
- 3 John 2 (KJB)
- Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be
in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
- Prosper and prospereth - Get along well, succeed, gain
- Health - Be sound or wholesome
- Here John desires Gaius to prosper and be in health. The word prosper
carries with it the idea of a successful journey. John had desired that he
would be prosperous in all areas of his life as he was in his spiritual
walk. This verse has been taken way out of context by the Charismatic
movement. They use it as one of their “proof texts” that God wants everybody
wealthy and healthy. John, in this verse, is desiring that Gaius be
prosperous, he is not guaranteeing any prosperity. It was a very intimate
greeting coupled with the term “beloved.” If you write to a person that is
beloved to you, are you going to desire that they fall off a cliff or that
they would prosper? John was hoping that Gaius would be found in good
health, as good as his soul was. Remember, the soul of the Christian has
been totally cleansed of all sin by the sacrifice of Christ.
- 3 John 3 (KJB)
- For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of
the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
- Testified - Bore witness
- Walkest - Live or conduct oneself
- Here John was traditionally in Ephesus and there were brethren that had
brought word back to him that Gaius was continually conducting himself in a
manner which was in accordance with the truth of God. The verse closes with
an added confirmation of the walk of Gaius, in that the reports the brethren
bought to John were well confirmed that Gaius had a good report as a
Christian. It brings joy to a person when someone whose life they had a part
in is still continuing to walk obediently and it was not just for window
- 3 John 4 (KJB)
- I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
- Here John expresses himself again that he rejoices when he hears someone
walking in the truth. It seems from this verse that Gaius was led to the
Lord by John and that he was John’s child in the faith. It is always a good
feeling to see someone who we have led to the Lord continuing to walk in the
truth and having a good testimony of faith. You can also take this verse as
an affirmation from the Lord that He too is happy when His children are
walking in truth and avoiding the evil of the world.
- 3 John 5 (KJB)
- Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the
brethren, and to strangers;
- Thou doest - Work, perform, accomplish or carry out
- John gives Gaius another encouragement in that everything he does,
whether it is for the brethren or for strangers, unbelievers or those whom
he shows hospitality to. The words “thou doest” carries with it the idea of
labor which is very wearying to the body but nevertheless is done. Those
words give a summation of how Gaius had a life of service and was not afraid
to go the extra mile. Hospitality was a great feature of the ancient world
as well as up until the 20th century when hotels and motels
started to dot the landscape. People no longer stayed at other people’s
homes but instead were put up in a motel. It seems Satan has been very good
at isolating the brethren so there can be none or less planning on how to
damage the kingdom of Satan. This is one of the reasons Satan tries to keep
Christians away from church so there is no group planning on evangelism.
(Mark 3:27 KJV) No man can enter into a
strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the
strong man; and then he will spoil his house.