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 3rd JOHN

 

The Third Epistle of John seems to describe what might be called the "average" Church!

Three people are described therein, any of whom you might meet at your local place of assembly!

In fact, likely at the Church you attend right now there is to you a friendly person, a frightening person and a faithful person! At least one in each category!

So is it in the Church John addresses here. Meet the friendly Gaius and the frightening Diotrephes and the faithful Demetrius in the verses immediately ahead ...

 

 

3 JOHN

"The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: but I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name."

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 1:

They exist in nearly every Church!

And we first meet them in the little Epistle named 3rd John.

We shall encounter them all ... in due time!

The first Brother is named "Gaius."

He is really the addressee, the one being written, in one of the Bible's sixty-six great Books!

"The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth." 3rd John 1

While many doubt the identity of the "Elder," ancient church  history has identified him as John, John the Disciple of Jesus. John the Apostle of course.

Notice the title your Bible gives to the little Epistle we have just begun studying, "The Third Epistle of John." That's good enough for me. The Elder has been identified.

The noun "elder" is spelled "presbuteros," meaning a man of old age. But many occasions have been found in ancient literature where "presbuteros" indicated a man of authority, the man in charge, regardless of any advanced age!

It is suspected that John was indeed at least ninety years old by the time he wrote 3rd John, but he was still the "elder" to the church years before this composition.

The preposition "unto" is not indicated by a precise pronoun. Rather it is present in the case form used by the proper name Gaius. The name is a dative masculine singular noun, fulfilling the "to whom" or "for whom" role in the sentence.

The Elder "to" Gaius ... or the Elder is writing "for" Gaius.

The name "Gaius" means "lord." Not with a capital "L," but lower case. It's here a term of respect, not deity. He may have been a person of dignity or means, but we don't know that for sure.

This was a common name in John's day.

There was a Gaius who lived in Corinth. Paul once wrote: "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius." This was a saved man, having exercised faith in Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 1:14

There was also a Gaius who was from Macedonia. He was a helper to Paul. At Ephesus, during that riot, we are told: "And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre." Acts 19:29

Then Gaius of Derbe is mentioned also. "And there accompanied Paul into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus." Acts 20:4

But our Gaius is probably none of the above. He is a convert of John apparently, based on these words: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth," wrote John. To call someone your "son" or "child" in a spiritual sense indicates that he came to know Jesus through your witness.

Just a single adjective describes Gaius here in verse one, "wellbeloved." It means something like "dearest." It incorporates the deepest and fullest Greek word for love, "agape." This is the love God gives! John and Gaius were close, real friends in Christ.

Then comes a clause, dependent on the first half of the verse for its viability, "whom I love in the truth."

"Love" is "agapao" in its simplest form. This means a love that gives! A love that is not easily crushed! A 1st Corinthians 13 kind of love!

But this love is limited!

It will not function outside the bounds of the truth!

This love could be extinguished if Gaius became a heretic! Should he deny that Jesus is the Christ, very God the Son, John would have "hesitated" on this love and respect! See that? "Whom I love in the truth."

"Truth," in Greek "aletheia," means that which can not be concealed! That which is so important and so powerful that it will manifest itself eventually! That which one cannot forget!

Truth is a vital word to John! Matthew in his Gospel uses the word "truth" three times. So does Mark. Luke five times. But John, twenty-seven times, if I counted right!

And for John, add ten more times in his First Epistle, short as it is! And four more occasions in Second John, only thirteen verses long!

But, best of all, six times in Third John with its fourteen verses!

Truth was that important to John!

He even chose his friends by it!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 2:

It's called a salutation.

And this one is particularly delightful.

The second verse in the little Epistle of 3rd John reads: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

The "beloved" one here, John's dear friend, is Gaius. I am told that in Latin this name would be "Caius." While there is obviously some tension between John the Elder and others in this Fellowship to which he is writing, none exists between these two.

The verb "wish," not an exclusively Christian word, actually translates "euchomai." This indicative present middle verb also means "to pray!"

The verb "prosper" is "euodoo" and expresses the idea of "traveling well, journeying safely," on the road of life obviously! "Eu" means good or well in Greek, while "hodos" is their word for "road" or "highway." The lady called "Euodias" in Philippians 4:2 comes to mind, she having the same definition for her name.

To "be in health," or "hugiaino," means "to be sound, to be whole, to be safe" as well as "to be healthy." It is believed that the stem of the verb is "auzano," meaning "to grow, to be enlarged or to increase!"

This prayer does not necessarily mean that Gaius was sickly, nor does it exclude that possibility.

It sure is a blessing though, rather than a curse!

Then comes the great equalizing element in this verse, that which lifts it above the merely mundane!

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

"Even as" is spelled "kathos" in Greek. It blends "kata" and "hos," thus, "according to this," or maybe "just as much as."

John is interested in the daily areas of Gaius' life, but only in light of the spiritual qualities he possesses!

One's "soul" or "psuche" means that which has "breath." It might include the part of one's being that involves his or her thoughts (mind) and decisions (will) and feelings (emotions). "Psuche" is not as significant a word for breathing as is "pneo," from which "spirit" is derived.

The verb for the prosperity of Gaius' soul is again "euodoo," but with this difference. Earlier in the verse, when the everyday things of life are wished prosperity, an infinitive us used. Now, a full verb in the indicative present passive form is utilized. The clear grammatical emphasis between the two occurrences is on the latter!

The soul outclasses the body here! And the "health and wealth" proponents who quote and preach this verse in such an unbalanced way should pause here and notice that fact! Yes, God is concerned about our physical welfare, but the spiritual vitality we enjoy is far greater!

Many of God's children languish in body, but thrive in spirit!

In fact, apart from the Lord's coming to get His Own, every human on earth will age and wear and eventually die ...from some malady!

But even through all that ... his soul can grow and thrive and be renewed daily, so says Paul anyway!

"But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day," quoting Paul in 2nd Corinthians 4:16.

Today I desire for you, dear reader, spiritual health and wholeness and growth!

Amen!

This Verse represents the Bible Way to pronounce kindness and blessing upon someone you love indeed!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 3:

The truth, it is not an abstract thing, nebulous and hazy!

It is absolute and fixed and final!

According to Jesus in John 17:17, God's Word is Truth! The Bible is! "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth," Jesus prayed and taught.

Yet again the Truth is also invested in a Person! God is Truth! "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

Jesus is full of Truth! "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

On the other hand, the devil hates the Truth! Jesus again, to the Pharisees: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44

And in John 14:17, among other places, the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of Truth."

Notice that all these "facts" are gleaned from the Gospel of John!

John emphasizes the Truth!

He writes in his little Third Epistle to Gaius, a friend, "For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth." 3rd John, verse 3

Back in 3rd John's first verse we learned that John chooses even his friends and associates based on the truth! "The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth."

I sense that without this common denominator, the Truth, no fellowship would even exist between John and Gaius!

Sounds like a good standard to me!

And according to verse 3, John has just received a delegation of brethren who assured him that Gaius continues to live in the Truth!

"For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth." 3rd John, verse 3

The noun "brethren," in Greek "adelphos," means men born from the same womb. It's derived from "a" as a connective particle and "delphos," the womb of a woman.

The geography here is uncertain. We do not know for sure where John is located as he writes, perhaps Ephesus. Yet again, maybe in prison! Or in exile, still on Patmos!

And Gaius' and Diotrephes' and Demetrius' home town also remains a mystery. No city is mentioned! Perhaps because these three can live anywhere! A friend and a foe and a faithful saint can be found in many a local Church!

At any rate some fellow Believers in Christ Jesus, perhaps preachers or missionaries themselves, have traveled to see John. They "came" (in Greek "erchomai") and "testified" (in Greek "martureo") of certain things, both verbals here being present participles. These men apparently were still present when John penned these words. To "testify" means to bear witness to something so strongly that one is willing to die for that truth! Notice that the verb "testify" is similar to our word "martyr."

Remember that "truth," twice spelled "aletheia" here, means "that which is not easily hidden!"  I take that to also mean "not easily forgotten."

Such Truth is "in" Gaius. The first "in" this third verse contains is implied, provided by the genitive that encircles it. It's the truth belonging to Gaius. He has appropriated it! In that sense it is "in" him!

"Even as" translates "kathos" again, blending "kata" and "hos." Meaning: "according to which," or "inasmuch" or "just as." The second member of the couplet here carries as much weight as its first member.  Gaius, you possess the truth ... and walk in it too!

To "walk" is "peripateo," to "trample" (Greek = "pateo") all "around" (Greek = "peri") something! Now here's the verse's second full-fledged verb! It's important too, Gaius' walk is to be given great emphasis, a walk "in the truth!" "Peripateo" is a present tense verb in the indicative mood and active voice. Gaius is steady in his walk, it being an on-going thing! This walk is a fact, not a desire or mere wish! And it requires some effort on Gaius' part, not just passive coalescence!

"For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth." 3rd John, verse 3

The second "in" is not simply implied, but inserted in the Text. "En" in Greek, when its object is dative case as here, means "on, at, near, by, before, within, or among!" What closeness and identity!

Gaius lives in a sphere called Truth! We too live in such an Environment, Jesus is His Name! Paul said of Christ, "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being." Acts 17:28

Such news has impacted John!

Upon hearing first-hand of Gaius' love for the Truth, his dear friend Gaius, John "rejoiced greatly!"

"Chairo" means "to be glad!" To be cheerful! It is a "grace" word, "charis" I mean. To know God's amazing Grace, having experienced it personally through the Lord Jesus Christ, is indeed to also "be glad and rejoice!" Yet "chairo" here is an indicative aorist passive verb! This joy John himself did not generate! It was brought upon him! By the Holy Spirit I would assume! Such gladness seizes John from time to time apparently, historically so. These "high" times of delight can come and go too, while abiding constant joy is a possession of the saint as well.

The accompanying adverb, "greatly," translates "lian." It means "beyond measure!" Much! Chiefly! This term is only used 14 times in the whole New Testament! John has this very same reaction in 2nd John verse 4 too! "I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father."

Thus we have seen what's important to John ... Truth!

Why is it no longer important today?

Is our society already believing a lie?

Such dark days are coming, even if in the Tribulation! "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2nd Thessalonians 2:12

Treasure the Truth!

John did!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 4:

In the Christian life there are levels of joy!

While it is evident that the Holy Spirit of God produces joy in our hearts, some Believers appropriate that joy better than others.

Paul clearly teaches us: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance ...." Galatians 5:22-23

In the little Epistle of Third John, the Elder writes: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3rd John verse 4

These words are addressed to a Brother named Gaius. Some traveling preachers had visited John, apparently from Gaius' home town. They reported to the old Apostle that his friend Gaius was living a godly life, walking in the truth! John's own words: "For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth." 3rd John verse 3

This "Truth" is no doubt just another Title for Jesus. Walking in the Lord! Remember that Christ one day said, "I am the Truth." John 14:6

This "Truth" also is an indication that Gaius is believing correctly too, doctrinally straight!

It furthermore implies that the friend of John is living right! Godly in his behavior!

Such information thrills John!

Again, today's verse: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

The verb "have" is "echo" in Greek and means "to hold on" to something, to "possess" it!  John "treasures" the fact that Gaius is "right" with God.

"Joy," the noun here, means "cheerfulness" or "calm delight." Its root verb is "chairo." I remind you again that this word is very close to the New Testament noun for grace, "charis."

"Greater" is an intensified form of "mega," big! The term actually employs both a comparative and a superlative thought. It reads something like this: "better than the greatest" joy!

The "no" is an absolute negative! "Ou" suggests that John has never experienced any joy that surpasses his reaction to Gaius and others walking in the truth!

John is, in a good way, "obsessed" with the Truth. We need to be also! The eternal destiny of any man or woman hinges on that, the Truth!

Again, John has "heard" about Gaius' godliness from the "brethren" who came from Gaius' hometown or traveled through that town. However, here "akouo," to "hear," is framed as a subjunctive verb. John is speaking hypothetically. He, at any time under any circumstances, would be equally overjoyed to learn that one of his own children in the faith is living right, walking in the "Truth" as he puts it!

"Children" translates "teknon," one's offspring who have the likeness of their father! I was taught that nuance of meaning for "teknon" years ago. I love it! The literal background of the word might be "timoria" and its root verb "timoreo," both having the idea of "guarding" or "protecting" someone! Children are supposed to grow up and "care" for their parents! John may be viewing Gaius as another good soldier in the army for the Truth! A defender of the Faith!

"Walk" as a verb is "peripateo," to step or tread all around, everywhere. It depicts one's lifestyle, his daily activity. The live ... and keep on living the Truth, habitually!

Again, "truth" or "aletheia" means that which is "not" able to be "concealed!" The "a" is the negative particle here. Truth cannot consistently be hidden! It will surface! Neither can it be forgotten for long! Truth will win in the end! That's its very nature!

Saint of God, how important is truth in your life?

Believer in Jesus, are you studying every day the Book of Truth, the Word of God?

Do you lean on the Holy Spirit to help you discern truth from error?

Thank God for Truth!

Truth  is critically important, fundamentally so! "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." So warns Proverbs 23:23.

John the Apostle, man of truth!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P. S. --- It's astounding what John just said! "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." Think of the privileges John had during his long lifetime! He heard Jesus preach! That no doubt brought him great joy! He saw our Lord's miracles too! And John "leaned" on Jesus' breast at mealtimes, that close to our Lord! He also was a witness to the fact of Jesus' Resurrection! He saw the glorified Lord! Joy, joy, joy ... such had to be the result of such encounters!

Yet here he says, now as an old man mind you, and also in a time of great apostasy and declension ... that his greatest joy of all is learning that those under his spiritual care have been living right, walking in the Truth!

This is the John who is such an experienced student of joy that he could in 1st John 1:4 write: "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." What a discerner of joy!

And naturally full joy implies such states exist as half joy or little joy or no joy! Today we have learned about the joy of which John says there is "none greater!"

Walking in the Truth!

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 5:

His name is Gaius.

We meet him in the little Epistle of Third John.

He's a friend to the great Apostle John, apparently a good friend.

But in the fifth verse of 3rd John we learn that Gaius is not just a friend to John, but is friendly to his Brothers in Christ too.

By friendly here I mean hospitable.

"Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers." 3rd John verse 5

In John's day there were regularly certain traveling preachers and missionaries who would go from church to church, apparently serving the Lord and proclaiming His Word diligently.

Sometimes Churches would not receive these brethren. Practicing a sort of "us four and no more" attitude, some were content to fellowship only among themselves.

Keep in mind now, these were Bible-believing and Bible-preaching Men of God. If not, John would have had nothing to do with them! He has a passionate love for the Truth! He also despises error!

Apparently Gaius has been very kind to these traveling servants of the Lord.

Again our verse for today, "Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers."

The vocative "beloved" is a derivative of "agape." This is love in the Lord, Christian brotherhood! Also this is the fourth time in five short verses that John has used some term of endearment in reference to Gaius. He's the "beloved" twice and also the "well-beloved" once and one of John's "children" in the faith too!

Gaius, whose name means "lord," could possibly have been a man of some means, wealthy even. His name might even imply such. At least we know he is in a position to help the Brethren who travel and preach God's Word.

Two times the verb "doest" occurs in verse five. The first "doest" translates the Greek verb "poieo." It means to "do" in this sense, to "make" something. It is said that our word "poem" and "poet" are built upon this word stem. To do something lovely, something poetic!

Gaius is an "artist" in his display of hospitality to the guests in his home! "Poieo" is also a present tense verb here, suggesting constant ministry! Habitual kindness to any traveling evangelist!

The second "doest" is "ergazomai" and means "to work or to labor!" Other textbooks say, "to toil." Surprisingly this verb is an aorist! That usually refers to deeds already done in the past, not currently continuing!

Therefore it appears that John is commending Gaius for his overall lifestyle of helping preachers along the way, the first "doest" accomplishes this goal. But also Gaius is appreciated for some recent deed of kindness, now completed. The second "doest" cares for that emphasis.

Gaius serves God and God's children "faithfully" also. "Pistos" is the word, with reliance or trustworthiness or steadiness!

Those to whom Gaius has shown Christian hospitality are described two ways. They are "brethren,"  meaning saved individuals, born-again. Literally "adelphos" means "from the same womb!" Birthed by the same Holy Spirit into the family of God!

But apparently some of these traveling preachers were to Gaius "strangers." Now while "xenos" can mean "foreigners," it often carries the idea of "unknown" guests.

Old friends or new acquaintances ... either received "open door" treatment from this kind man named Gaius.

And John is commending him, John the Elder, the Disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, "the Disciple whom Jesus loved."

Do we love the brethren, those who walk in the Truth?

At the future Judgment of the Nations, one criteria Jesus uses to pronounce sentence is that of loving the brethren, especially the Jews! "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

Peter writes to us: "Use hospitality one to another without grudging." 1st Peter 4:9

And Paul, this time in Hebrews, adds: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Here in Hebrews 13:2 the term "entertain strangers" translates "philoxenia," love and kindness for strangers, good folks you don't yet know. Yet they were people who had the testimony of living the Truth!

Friend, today bake a cake or pie and take it to a lonely saint. Or make an encouraging phone call to a discouraged believer. Slip a twenty dollar bill into the hands of a needy brother in Christ. Invite that new family at church to your home for supper one night.

"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Paul wrote this in Ephesians 4:32.

Hospitality, John says it's more important than we might have thought!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 6:

The background of the little New Testament Epistle called 3rd John is so interesting!

The whole Letter is centered around three men. One of them, Diotrephes by name, was sort of a church "boss." He wanted to make all the decisions and control every area of spiritual life. He even rejected John!

Furthermore, this man was against helping missionaries and evangelists and other traveling Men of God, against showing them Christian hospitality and financially aiding their journey!

With that in mind, watch what John says to another man, a very different man than Diotrephes!

John's beloved friend Gaius was in fact the opposite of Diotrephes! According to a group of these itinerant preachers, Gaius received them into his home and treated them royally! These missionaries and evangelists had brought testimony to the whole church ... "Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well." 3rd John 1:6

How unlike Diotrephes!

Thank the Lord there are folks in the church who love God's Men!

The verb "to bear witness" is similar in meaning to what we today would call "testifying." As these men went from church to church they finally came to where John was. And having recently been in the church Gaius attended, what a report they had to give!

They were there showered with "charity." This is our verbal friend "agape." God's love come to earth! That's right! The Greeks had plenty of words for love before the Gospel arrived! This special term was recommissioned and sanctified to describe God's eternal, gracious, sacrificial, regardless-of-the-response kind of love! The kind of love that would provide Calvary with its Cross and Bloodshed! The kind of love 1st Corinthians 13 describes in detail!

That's how Gaius received and treated his godly guests! With "charity!" These traveling preachers already had "faith" ... and "hope" ... now they're getting a great big dose of "charity!"

Kindness to fellow Believers!

"Here's the milk and cheese and bread, dear friends! Eat to your heart's content! And we've prepared the guest room for your comfort. Stay with us until rested please! We love your company and the fellowship around God's Word will be great! Let us have your tunic. We shall wash it while you sleep. The dusty road has soiled it a bit. And your feet! We must bathe them, blisters and calluses all! We are so honored to have you here!" So might have gone Gaius' conversation with his new Gospel preaching friends, bearers of the Truth!

News like this gets told!

"Before" the Church, says verse six! This word is "enopion" and it blends "in the presence of" (in Greek "en") and the word "sight" (in Greek "optanomai") ... "in sight of" or "before the face of" the whole church!

How good Gaius looked!

How bad Diotrephes now looked!

Again, verse 6, directed to kind Gaius: "Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well."

To "bring forward on a journey," that verb, is spelled "propempo" and is a compound meaning "before" (in Greek "pro") and "to dispatch" (in Greek "pempo) ... to help them continue their journey! We constantly refer to one or two or even all three of Paul's "missionary journeys." That's what these traveling preachers were doing too, evangelizing.  Here "propempo" is a participle, a verbal adjective, telling us what Gaius had done!

"After a godly sort" translates "axios ho theos." Meeting God's approval! Worthy of His Name! Suitable! Appropriate!

"Axios" is really built upon the "ago" stem, literally "to lead" a group somewhere, to go ahead! Treating these Men of God so respectfully is indeed an example of leading the church the right way!

Just plain old hospitality, but in the Name of Jesus!

"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." So taught our Lord in Matthew 10:42.

Lastly, what Gaius did is duly noted by John.

These things qualify Brother Gaius one who "did well."

If so, "thou shalt do well," says the Holy Spirit!

Here "do" is that little verb "poieo," to make something, to make or do something beautiful and pleasing and helpful! Again I remind you, something like a "poem," which is one of our words borrowed from that Greek "poieo" stem! Gaius has become a spiritual "poet!"

Then comes that accompanying adverb "well" or "kalos" in Greek. It just means right or correct or even pleasing, here in God's sight!

What a ministry Gaius had!

Our Heavenly Father is so kind!

We must be too!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 7:

It was a policy the New Testament Preachers followed rigidly.

As they traveled from place to place, they gladly would accept financial help from other Believers, but not from the lost!

We see this principle illustrated yet again in the little Epistle of Third John. There the Elder, another Name for John the Apostle, is writing his friend Gaius. A godly man, Gaius has made it a long-time policy to receive into his home itinerant missionaries and evangelists, feeding and housing them until they moved onto another place of service.

The reason such Christian servants of the Lord accepted the help of Brethren like Gaius is made known in 3rd John verse 7. "Because that for His name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles."

The opening verb, "went forth," is spelled "exerchomai" in Greek and just means that these good men left their homes and set out for regions unknown, preaching God's Word! This is not an "official" kind of verb, no mention of ordination or such. God called them and they started on their journey!

They go from place to place as directed by the Spirit of God solely "for His Name's sake!" That is ... for Jesus' Name's sake! This proves their spiritual identity. They are Preachers! The right kind too!

But then look!

"Taking nothing of the Gentiles." To "take" here is "lambano," to accept or receive. "Nothing" is spelled "medeis" and means "not one thing." It is neuter in gender.

The saints can help, money and hospitality and prayers readily accepted!

Lost people cannot help.

But, why?

Maybe to show that God is fully capable of providing for His own!

Maybe to keep the Gentiles, the lost, from thinking that salvation could be bought with favors or cash or anything else!

Or maybe just to increase the faith of the Preachers themselves!

By the way, here "Gentiles" translates "ethnos," non-Jews! The nations of the world! The heathen are implied! Again I say it, the unsaved!

One Scripture comes to mind.

When Abraham returned from defeating those enemy nations that had kidnapped Lot, the King of Sodom wanted to give him gifts. Here's the Bible account. Notice Abraham's response to the generous offer from the heathen king. "And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich." Genesis 14:21-23

Abraham flatly refused help from the king of Sodom, an unsaved man!

He did so to enhance God's Glory apparently! "God owns heaven and earth! I will take nothing from Sodom! Lest it should be said that they, the wicked, had made Abraham rich!"

And when it comes to Paul and his taking gifts or accepting money ... even from the saints ... it was nearly impossible! Much less accepting something from a lost person!

Rather: "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus," thunders the great Man of God in Philippians 4:19.

Then again I read while studying for this verse that hundreds of pagan preachers, followers of the local deities, idolaters in other words ... traveled throughout the whole Holy Land area, and they readily took money from anyone! Their kind of itinerant ministry proved very profitable according to history!

Perhaps John is telling us that to be different from the world, these men refused the aid of the wicked!

Of course this refusal to accept aid from the heathen surely puts more pressure, more responsibility, on us Christians to give and pray and support these traveling workers for the Lord!

We are perhaps their only source of provision!

That is, unless God again uses ravens with food or vessels with oil or widow ladies with whatever!

Christian hospitality, not a convenience or a luxury ... but a necessity!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSE 8:

The verse contains a phrase with which we need to become familiar.

John the Beloved is specifically talking about the correct treatment of traveling preachers or evangelists or missionaries.

"We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth." 3rd John, verse 8

That itinerant preacher, there are some things we certainly ought to do for him.

The verb "ought" is spelled "opheilo" and means "to owe" or "to be in debt!" It might be a good idea for some dear Preacher to search the New Testament and find the things for which we Christians are indebted! For example, Romans 13:8 tells us: "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." We are in debt to all our Brethren, to love them in the Lord! And yes, the verb "owe" is spelled "opheilo."

We should "receive" them, says John! "Apolambano" means "to take in," or even "to get hold of" plus the added nuance of taking in something that's been "away."

These preachers may at first be to us strangers, but still fellow Christians. Nonetheless we are to take them into our homes, welcoming them from afar!

"That we might be" literally represents the subjunctive of "ginomai" ... "that this might happen" or even "come into existence!" It is expressing a wish or a desire on John's part.

The noun "fellowhelpers" is "sunergos" and means "toilers" (in Greek, "ergos") along "with" (in Greek, "sun") these dear men! "Sun" can actually depict close association, even union of purpose!

Sounds like John is saying that if we love them and feed them and house them, giving to them in Jesus' Name ... we shall be so closely associated with their mission and work that we become "one" with them in their toiling!

If so, we might get to share in their very reward! "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." Mark 10:42

And Matthew 10:41 says, "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward."

Amazing!

And all here is for the sake of the truth!

"Fellowhelpers to the truth!"

"Truth" is in the dative case, expressing "to" or "for" in reference to the preceding noun, "fellowhelpers."

And truth, real truth, is to God "that which cannot be hidden!" In Greek "aletheia" is composed of "a" simply as a negative and an additional word that means "concealing."

God's truth cannot be universally or eternally hidden!

Truth will prevail!

Help those who love the Truth!

In so doing you will enrich your reward!

On the basis of this verse, have your Pastor and his family over for lunch some day soon!

Or some other kind and creative deed ... directed toward that godly Preacher!

In so doing you will become a "fellowhelper!"

Praise the Lord!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, VERSE 9:

John the Apostle, also known as the Elder in his third Epistle, commends a Christian Brother named Gaius. The reason for such praise: Gaius has customarily received into his home traveling missionaries and evangelists and preachers, those who are on various missions for our Lord, doing His great work! Using his extra guest room, Gaius proceeded to feed and house and encourage these special folks! This Brother is a genius in the area of Christian hospitality!

Eight verses, over half the Epistle, focus on Gaius and his "receiving" the Christian Brothers!

Then, suddenly, the mood changes!

"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not." 3rd John verse 9

The verb "grapho," meaning "to write," is an aorist here, signifying that the "pen and paper" action is over, complete! John had laid down his stylus. We are studying an event of history, yet it happens again and again in today's Churches as well!

The "church" here is "ecclesia," a called-out assembly of like-minded saints of God! This local church meets in a home or hall or school, although its exact city is not given.

Now we meet the second main character of Third John. "Diotrephes" includes the verb "trepho," to fatten or pamper or nourish or cherish! The prefix, "Dio" is thought to be another name for Zeus or Jove, the main god of the Greeks and Romans! Nourished by Jove! This is not a Christian name! Nor Jewish!

Of course we must realize that a heathen man can be saved! But often when that happened, one's name was changed! Christianized!

What Gaius did so well, receiving the Brethren, Diotrephes refused to do at all! "Epidechomai" is translated "received" here, but negated. Diotrephes "receiveth not" God's servants! The verb means "to accept or take in or admit." The "epi" prefix intensifies the verbal action. No hospitality or kindness from this Diotrephes!

Do notice the personal pronoun John uses too! "Diotrephes received US not!" This man will not even acknowledge John's authority and position! Bitter to the core! What kind of person must it take to repel the "beloved disciple," the "one whom Jesus loved?"

But why?

Why be so cold to God's precious Men?

John tells us this about the selfish man: "Who loveth to have the preeminence among them."

The noun "preeminence" is spelled "philoproteuo." This compound blends "philos" which means love or fondness and "protos" which means first place!

Diotrephes longs to be the number one man, to control things at church!

This is wrong!

Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church! He should control her!

Oh, by the way, I've met Diotrephes several times during the ministry God has given me. He lives in our area, at least his cousin does!

Of course there's one where you live too!

We need some godly Preachers who will stand and fight and become "Diotrephes-Busters" in the work of the Lord!

Not sissies who say far too repeatedly, "Yes Mr. Diotrephes!"

I refuse to call him Brother Diotrephes!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, VERSE 10:

John has been talking about some traveling preachers, godly men going from place to place preaching the Word!

Some of these evangelists have recently visited John. "The brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth," he wrote to his friend Gaius in 3rd John Verse 3.

Gaius had previously received these Men of God into his home, caring for them hospitably. "Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles." 3rd John Verses 5-7

Gaius, the friendly Believer!

But by Verse 9 another church member has been introduced. Diotrephes lived by the meaning of his name, a heathen indeed! "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not."

Today we study Verse 10 and learn that at times John himself is a traveling preacher too! "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."

The expression "if I come" is framed as a subjunctive unit, expressing a possibility, not a certainty. John might travel to the Church in which Gaius and Diotrephes are participants.

To "remember" means "to call to mind." Yes, "mimnesko" may go all the way back to "meno," something "remaining" in one's mind! But here it is prefixed with "hupo," meaning underneath. Thus we get something like: quietly reminding, doing so under the radar of the whole group!

The noun "deeds" utilizes the Greek word "ergon," his laborious "works" are in view here. See our English word "energy" in "ergon."

To "do" translates "poieo," as a present active verb. He practices such unkindness and demagoguery that he might be compared to a poet, a bad one, building sinful monuments of hatred in the church!

Diotrephes wanted to be a dictator in that local church.

To "prat" is spelled "phluareo," meaning a babbler, an idle talker, one who berates slanderously! It is derived from "phluo," meaning simply "to bubble!" One whose mouth nearly never ceases! Jesus attacked these idle words one day. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37

The adjective "malicious" is "poneros." It's a word suggesting evil that is active, spreading, deadly!

"Words" is our old friend "logos." It includes our idea of logic, at least to a certain extent.

Can you imagine a man who would not allow John the Disciple, in his old age, to come and speak to a Church?

But that's not all!

Having rejected John, Diotrephes is still not "content!" This word, "arkeo," means "to ward off." It is built upon the root "airo" apparently, "to lift something up," here a barrier against the Men of God!

Church bosses always want more and more power and control!

To "receive" translates "epidechomai" which means "to accept and take into" the fellowship. This man wants the power to decide all Church issues, including who can even enter the assembly! The time sense of this verb indicates durative action, on-going in nature. This is Diotrephes' pattern of life.

But next this heretic takes everything to the next level!

Not only does Diotrephes himself reject these traveling preachers, men who really preach the word and love the Truth, he forbids others receiving them as well!

Again our Verse, Verse 10: "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."

To "forbid" uses "koluo" and means "to hinder or to withstand." To stop or prevent! It's from "kolazo," meaning "to punish!"

The verb "would" is "boulomai" and means "to desire or wish, to intend or plan." Some in the Church wanted to help the missionaries. Diotrephes disagrees!

So much so that he "casteth" them out of the Church Fellowship! "Ekballo" literally means "to throw" (in Greek "ballo") someone "out" (in Greek "ek") of the place!

Again, these verbs are progressive. Habitual action is being depicted.

He excommunicated the godly preacher lovers, respecters of God's Men!

He will be the leader!

No one else's opinion will be heard!

You may not believe this. But many churches yet today are plagued with such men ... or women!

His or her money or mouth or family or position will rule!

Everyone else is just a little slave!

John is an old man now, frail in health probably. Maybe even in his nineties! His travel plans even seem to be indefinite. But, if he can go to this place, he will confront Diotrephes face-to-face.

Just think what Paul would have done!

Or John the Baptist!

Or Elijah!

Oh, today, where are the MEN of God?

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11, VERSE 11:

In as bold a statement as the New Testament makes, John the Apostle of love has just called one man "good" and another man "evil!"

The good man is Gaius.

The evil man is Diotrephes.

Here are John's exact words: "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God." 3rd John Verse 11

"Beloved" in Greek is "agapetos" and means someone "held in high esteem" or one who is "dear" or even "worthy."

"Follow," here the verb, is spelled "mimeomai." See in it our English word mimic! It means "to imitate." Here this verb is expressed as an imperative, a command!

The adjective "evil" is spelled "kakos" and means "worthless." It's not the worst word in the New Testament for sin or iniquity. Bad in character! Lacking proper qualities! "Kakos" pictures intrinsic evil also, not the outward spreading kind!

In like manner "good" is a translation of "agathos." It means something like excellent, useful, pleasant, beneficial! This however is the active and aggressive word for goodness in the New Testament! Goodness that spreads!

Then come two more interesting words. Used less than a dozen times in Scripture, "doeth good" translates "agathopoieo." To make or manufacture or build ("poieo") goodness! Conversely, "doeth evil" is built upon the verb "kakopoieo," to creatively spin badness, worthlessness! Both these terms are present participles.

The verb "hath seen" is spelled "horao," meaning "to stare at" something!

And just what is the basis, the criteria, for deciding who is good or evil here?

It is surely this: how these two men have treated the Brethren, the Preachers who have traveled through their town or visited their church, Men of God who have faithfully preached the Gospel! Men with no place to stay at night or no money in their pockets!

Gaius extended these men hospitality and love and charity. "Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles." 3rd John Verses 5-7

But Diotrephes, rejecting even John the Apostle, is described: "Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church." 3rd John Verses 9-10

In the same Church apparently, but one man good and the other man bad!

One is "of God," the preposition being "ek," that is "out of" God Himself or "by means of" God Himself! One man is saved, Gaius.

The other man, at least by implication, is lost! He "hath not seen God." The adverb "not" is absolute too, no exceptions! There's another negative adverb in Greek that means "likely not." It of course isn't absolute!

With whom will you identify?

Gaius?

Or Diotrephes?

The loving Brother?

Or the threatening dictator?

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, VERSE 12:

We meet three different men in the little Epistle of Third John. Two of them are good, one is bad.

I've described them this way. Gaius, the man who is friendly! Diotrephes, the man who is frightening! And Demetrius, the man who is faithful!

"Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true." 3rd John Verse 12

Here's what we know of this faithful man. The name "Demetrius" means "belonging to Ceres." That's a heathen goddess, also known as Demeter. She was the controller of agriculture, they wrongly thought. She was pictured as nearly always holding a bundle of grain in her hands!

Look! Demetrius the Christian went from honoring the false goddess of grain to worshipping Jesus, The Bread of Life!

God can save and change a man, no matter his background!

The clause "hath good report" actually translates just one word, the verb "martureo," meaning "to give testimony" or "to bear witness." Being serious enough about that witness to die for it, if necessary, too! See the English word "martyr" in "martureo?"

The adjective "all" is spelled "pas," meaning "any, every or each," the whole group! Each person at Church knew about Demetrius' stability!

And if the Truth could talk, it also would agree!

Demetrius had stood by the side of Truth since his conversion to Jesus!

Yes, the whole Church agrees, Demetrius is faithful!

So does the Word of God, the Truth!

Then John characteristically adds, "and we also bear record." Again using "martureo" for "bearing record."

John adds his name to the witness list!

That makes three who testify on Demetrius' behalf!

When it comes to the Deity of Christ Jesus, John previously wrote: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." 1st John 5:7 is another three-fold testimony!

John's vouching for Demetrius should give finality to any question of his genuine faithfulness!

After all, "ye know that our record is true," repeats the aged and respected Disciple!

The verb for "know" is "eido," perception that has been given one, placed within him, but without any real effort on his part! One Text says "to know by perception!" Holy Ghost imparted perception!

"Record," the noun, is again "marturia." See in it our word "martyr!"

Then, as he has already done six times in these few verses, John again writes about the truth. "Our record is TRUE!"

And "aletheia" means something like "that which can not be forgotten!"

Amen!

Why did John go into such detail about the accuracy of Demetrius' "good report?" Because of Diotrephes' bad report I suspect!

Aren't you glad that for every bad egg down at Church ... there's at least one good faithful one?

And usually far more than that!

We as Christians must begin to more highly value the Truth!

Without it, compromise is coming!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13, VERSE 13 WITH A BIT OF VERSE 14 ADDED:

John the Disciple of Jesus was a "hands-on" kind of man.

To him the five senses, all gifts from God, were critically important. Especially when one is conveying truth!

Listen to what he writes his good friend Gaius at the end of his Third Epistle. "I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: but I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face." 3rd John Verses 13-14a

Near the end of his Second Epistle, John says about the same thing, only adding the "joy" factor! "Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full." 2nd John 1:12

John has a "hands-on" kind of approach, an "eye-to-eye" type of ministry!

Obviously he has much more to say, but will await a personal meeting. Jesus also knew when to wait ... before adding additional truth! Our Lord in John 16:12 concludes: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."

Paul the Apostle also knew the feeling. "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing." Hebrews 5:11

Furthermore, Paul regularly tried to visit the new converts in the newly formed Churches. He writes to the Corinthians, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." 2nd Corinthians 13:1

There is importance and, to some extent, power attached to the very presence of the Man of God!

John alludes to that fact again in the closing words of His Gospel. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book." Jesus' presence was dynamic!

Back to Paul again: "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established." He actually said this in Romans 1:11. Paul's very presence ministered some sort of spiritual gift!

And watch this one: "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." Paul again, writing to Timothy in 2nd Timothy 1:6.

I myself love to be around the good Men of God! I enjoy hearing them talk and fellowship and even laugh and interact one with another.

Know and love your Pastor. Have a meal with him or with him and his wife occasionally. Spend some time, however brief, in his presence.

Again, here's today's Text: "I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: but I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face." 3rd John Verses 13-14a

The word "ink" is "melan" and is only used three times in the whole New Testament! It's parent word, "melas," just means "black."

The Greek noun "pen" is more plentiful however, it being found Biblically 12 times. "Kalamos" means a "reed," a plant grown especially for the purpose of producing sharp easily handled stems suitable for dipping into ink and writing on some surface.

To "trust" is "elpizo," that is, "to exercise hope!" The verb "elpo" means "to anticipate, usually with pleasure!

The verb "see" is "eido" and means more than just eye contact. It carries also the idea of perceiving and understand and discerning and discovering the heart and mind of someone.

"Thee," as in "see thee," is singular. John is still writing to the beloved Gaius, friend of Preachers!

Then John uses a word that Mark loved so much, "eutheos." It means "immediately" or "straightway" or even "forthwith." Actually "eutheos" combines "eu" (meaning "well or good" in Greek) and "tithemi" (meaning "to put or place" in Greek) into one term, well-placed! Timely! In our verse it's translated "shortly."

To "speak," interestingly, is not "logeo" as one would suspect, but "laleo." Often this indicates that the writer is longing to see and "talk" generally with his readers, and not necessarily about "official" things only! He loves his hearers and wants to be with them, chatting a while!

Of course, knowing John as we do, he will be speaking the Truth even as he fellowships!

Lastly, "face to face" is spelled "stoma pros stoma!" Literally this is "mouth to mouth!" It's our word "stomach!" But the mouth opens ultimately into the stomach, by ancient standards anyway!

There's just nothing like being around the Man of God!

John, old as he is, maybe even in his nineties, will travel and endure all those hardships ... just to visit Gaius and Demetrius, loving and fellowshipping with his friends ... and also rebuking Diotrephes, all for the Truth's sake!

Amen!

That's one thing that makes hearing a Preacher in person better than merely listening to a tape or CD or even seeing a video of his Message!

And if you don't believe that yet, sometime read 2nd Kings 13:21. "And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet."

Even dead, Elisha was a good man to be near!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14, VERSE 14:   (Written early Friday morning, July 20, 2007)

The Epistle of Third John ends with three short sentences.

"Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name." 3rd John Verse 14

The noun "peace" is spelled "eirene" in Greek. It's root verb, "eiro," means "to join!" Think of those implications! Two, once being at enmity, now joined as one! Sounds like the Gospel!

"Gaius" in not a Jewish name! Yet to him John wishes the most Jewish of all blessings, "peace!"

Why?

Because of Jesus!

How can we have such peace?  "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross," wrote Paul in Colossians 1:20. That's the answer!

Think of Jesus, "For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us." Glory to God!

Peace, Brethren!

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jesus said this word-for-word in John 14:27.

The pronoun "thee" in "Peace be unto thee" is spelled "soi," the dative singular of "su." It means "to you" or even "for you!" The verb is implied.

The noun "friends," twice used here, is "philos" and precisely means "a loved one" or "a dear one."

The verb "salute" translates "aspazomai" and blends "spao" (in Greek meaning "to draw" to oneself) and "a" as a particle of union. Therefore a salute is an action designed to draw people together! It appears that this verb is in the middle voice. Such implies that the person saluting will be changed in the process!

Be friendly, speak ... the Lord will touch your heart as you do so!

It looks like John has friends everywhere he goes! But be sure of this, they are friends "in the Truth!"

John also apparently wants his friends here to know his friends there! Thus, "Our friends salute thee."

Then comes an imperative verb, expressing a command from John the Elder. "Greet the friends by name."

"Greet" is identical to the Greek "salute" earlier in the verse. Both are forms of "aspazomai." This word may carry with it the air of politeness and respect. "To welcome!" Or maybe "to pay one's respects!"

"By name" translates "kata onoma." According to name! This implies knowing the Brethren personally!

John certainly knew three men in the receiving Church by name, Gaius and Diotrephes and Demetrius. Two of them would have been looking forward to John's visit too!

The other, well, he had best repent ... or face rebuke!

A lot of Church problems could be solved by one good journey through Third John!

Indeed!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

JUST BECAUSE A BOOK OF THE BIBLE IS SHORT OR BRIEF, DO NOT DISCOUNT IT! ALL SCRIPTURE, INCLUDING THE LITTLE LETTERS, ARE MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD!

 

 

 

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