Please read: III John
III John was written to an individual named Gaius. It is a typical Roman name, and it is not sure whether this Gaius is the same one referenced in Acts 19:29, 20:4; Romans 16:23; I Cor 1:14, or someone different. We do know that he had precious like faith as the Apostle John and John loved him. He starts out wishing Gaius good health, which was a standard beginning to letters at this time. Gaius was providing hospitality to transient preachers, and John encourages him to continue to be hospitable to these preachers because:
- These preachers have gone out “for the sake of the name.”
- These preachers depended on the Christian community for hospitality because they received no assistance from the pagans.
- Gaius would share the transient preachers’ work in the blessing by being hospitable.
We know little about Diotrephes, other than he loved prominence, spread gossip about John, and would not welcome those that John had recommended. John states that when he comes, he will publically reprimand him for not accepting other believers, prohibiting others from receiving them, and putting them out of the church if they do.
The early church met in homes and read the scriptures together. Every home church did not have a preacher for every time they gathered. So the Apostles and others that knew the scriptures traveled from home church to home church, teaching and discipline to believers. Unfortunately, this gave room for the false teachers to creep in and mislead early converts. From these three short letters, we can see that many false teachings were trying to destroy the early church. What do you think is the prime adversary of the church today? Do we still have false teachers trying to infiltrate the church? How can we guard our own hearts and minds against letting this happen?