Another straight forward “note”. I wouldn’t even consider this a full letter but a short note to Gaius, an unknown Christian to whom this letter was addressed.
This letter is kind of a pat on the back to Gaius from John. It is a boost. It’s a “Good Job and I’m proud of you” note.
We all need a boost now and then and I can only imagine how Gaius felt when reading this “Atta boy” from none other than John himself. I think the only way it would have been better is if it had been penned by Jesus Himself.
After John relates how happy Gaius has made him, he also gives a warning not to be unduly influenced by Diotrephes. This is another Christian, somewhat unknown, although we have all met people like Diotrephes before.
Diotrephes is apparently known to both John and Gaius as John speaks of him in a familiar fashion. John is using Diotrephes as an example for Gaius of how NOT to act.
I can’t imagine having the Apostle John knock on my door and turning him away. What arrogance is found in Diotrephes! Big mistake, huge… and yet apparently Diotrephes doesn’t stop there, he denies and turns away all associated with John too! sheesh…now there is a man who needs to be set straight and John is just the man to do it too, and he tells Gaius that is what he plans too the next time through.
From this John is teaching us about how to be gracious. The Bible is filled with these lessons on how to give hospitality, care for others in need expecting nothing in return, how to be gracious. In fact, Jesus said that on the day of judgment many will say to Him, “Lord, Lord” and He never knew them because they never cared and provided for His children. Never gave food to the hungry, water to the thirsty…etc.
Jesus said by doing this for the least of them, we are doing it for Him.
Diotrephes missed that lesson.
Back then, John and all the apostles and disciples of Jesus, all the evangelists…depended on the hospitality of believers and strangers alike for places to rest, food to eat, shelter etc. Without hospitality being freely offered, they would have to do without. They would not demand or take from anyone.
The men and women on missions today, depend on this same hospitality and graciousness.
But so do our neighbors. And members of our churches, and the strangers sitting on the sidewalk because they have no where else to go.
We have to be cautious of those who are unbelievers but that doesn’t mean we aren’t to show compassion, be gracious.
I liked this book.