In John’s third epistle he is writing to someone who is in authority in their community and church, the letter appears to be a personal letter which is to be shared with the community / local church.
In verse 3 John is acknowledging Gaius’s faithfulness and commitment to living and walking in Truth and and encouraging Gaius in his walk with Christ, John is obviously happy that the church in Gaius’s community is growing and thriving with believers in Christ.
John praises Gaius’s hospitality to those travelling through / visiting the church / community, which may have come at a cost both financially and through disgruntled neighbours. Through his actions we see Gaius obeying Jesus’ commands in Matthew 10:40-42 “40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” [ESV] By being hospitable Gaius is showing Jesus’ love and compassion for those travelling through the community, which obviously was reported back to John and the surrounding communities and churches.
In verses 9 & 10 we read how there is someone in the church / community who is preaching false truths and living their life to their own agenda, and for those who didn’t sign-up to their ideology they in a sense got kicked out of the church. Today we read and see this happening in today’s society and church, where people have minimal tolerance to those who don’t believe in their doctrine, theology and / or chosen lifestyle and start to make the other person(s) life difficult not only in their private lives but publically usually via social media. In verse 11 John tells his readers and us that we shouldn’t respond to evil with evil but respond with ‘good’ as this will be showing God at work in our lives. From experience this is easier said than done.
In verses 13 & 14 we see John’s intention to visit Gaius personally to talk face-to-face with him, if I’d received this letter it would have encouraged me knowing that John just didn’t consider me as the proverbial ‘pen pal’ but someone who he wanted to spend time with, encouraging and teaching me,
Over the next year are there people in your life who you know would benefit and appreciate you taking time out to spend with them, and not just someone who you occasionally text or email. And during those times when there are people in our lives being nasty, vindictive etc. we need to seek the Lord for peace, comfort and wisdom where we’ll be a beacon of Jesus’ love and grace in their lives.
All Bible verse links and quotes have been taken from http://www.biblegateway.com