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3 John Introduction & Study - (vv. 1-14) Commendation of Gaius/Condemnation of Diotrephes …

OPENING PRAYERS …
PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL …

3John Introduction & Study – (vv. 1-14)


THE THIRD BOOK OF JOHN – INTRODUCTION


Author: Third John has the same author as 2 John … The language and style are the same … Both are closely related to 1 John, and both are written by “the Elder”, a name by which John the Apostle was known in Asia Minor in his old age …


Date: As with 2 John, there is no firm evidence for fixing a date … Most likely written the same time as the others – (AD 90-95) …


Major Theme: “Genuine leadership versus false leadership”, Third John exhorts the Church to preserve in the true faith which they have received … True Christian leaders will adhere to that faith and respect those who passed it on to them …


Background: One of the churches under the oversight of John is having a jurisdictional dispute … John has sent out evangelists, and they have reported back to their home church, most likely in Ephesus, testifying that Gaius – full of love and loyalty – had liberally supported their mission … On the other hand, Diotrephes, apparently the local bishop or aspiring to be, has vigorously opposed them by lording over the church instead of leading it … He was resistant to the apostolic oversight – (v. 9) and forbade the welcoming of the missionaries from John … It may be that Demetrius – (v. 12) is another missionary whom John is intending to send that way and who also will need hospitality … So, John writes to Diotrephes’ church, but he does not trust Diotrephes with his letter – (v. 9) …


3 John


1 The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:

2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.

4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,

6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,

7 because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.

8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.

10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.

13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink;

14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.


Notes 3 John Study – (vv. 1-14)


1: This is probably not the same Gaius mentioned in – (Romans 16:23 & also in 1 Corinthians 1:14-15) …


Romans 16:23:

23 Gaius, my host, and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother


1 Corinthians 1:14-15:

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name.


3-4: TRUTH for John here is not doctrine or thought, but the Christian’s manner of life … Like all good fathers, John finds his greatest pleasure in seeing his children walk in truth …


5: STRANGERS are most likely referring to the missionaries sent by the Apostle John …


7: The missionaries went out for a specific purpose of preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ …


8: One way we may participate in ministry is by giving material help to those with spiritual gifts … The donor becomes a coworker in spiritual things – (Matthew 10:41) …


Matthew 10:41:

41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.


9-10: Diotrephes means “nursed or nourished by Zeus” … Early Christians kept their original name after their baptism … Diotrephes loved being preeminent – not the first among equals but peerless, with a passion for personal aggrandizement … This sin is insubordination: Diotrephes slanders John, the last of the twelve apostles, by refusing to accept him as either an apostle or priest … By rejecting John’s missionaries, he rejects John himself … And he disdains the apostolic, catholic ways of the Church, setting himself up as a petty tyrant …


12: Demetrius is either a member of Diotrephes’s church, one of the emissaries already sent by John, or yet another emissary from John- or perhaps the carrier of this letter …


CLOSING PRAYERS/MESSAGE …








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