Third John supplements statements on Christian hospitality in 2 John. It applauds a Christian named Gaius for living out the teachings of the apostles—he had welcomed traveling Christian missionaries into his home—while condemning Diotrephes, a selfish church leader who not only refused to help these itinerant, godly teachers but also had slandered and opposed those who disagreed with him. This book demonstrates that pride can divide Christians if they are not living by God’s Word. To avoid the dual dangers of false teaching and division within the church, believers should practice the dual virtues of love and discernment. The letter was probably written by the apostle John in the late first century a.d.
1 aThe elder to the beloved Gaius, bwhom I love in truth.
2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For cI rejoiced greatly when the brothers1 came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that dmy children are walking in the truth.
5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for ethese brothers, fstrangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner gworthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of hthe name, iaccepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
11 Beloved, jdo not imitate evil but imitate good. kWhoever does good is from God; lwhoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius mhas received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and nyou know that our testimony is true.
13 oI had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, peach by name.