John’s 3rd epistle consists of only one chapter and a total of 15 verses. He opens the letter by affectionately addressing someone named Gaius. Nothing at all is known about him. Most scholars believe that John wrote this letter from Ephesus sometime after 70 A.D.
John again calls himself “the elder” in this letter – an appropriate title for one who may be at the time the last remaining apostle. The purpose of the letter seems to be first to ask that Gaius and the brethren there extend the best welcome and send-off possible to the brethren accompanying Demetrius, who delivered the letter. The other main purpose appears to be to give Gaius encouragement and advice, and to let him know what he has been doing on behalf of the brethren.
He mentions one who is causing trouble in the church, Diotrephes, and encourages Gaius to take heart and not to allow himself or others to either imitate or to return evil with evil. “Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God,” he tells his friend and brother. John indicates he has more to say, but hopes to be there for a visit soon. He closes by referring to himself and the brethren as “the friends.”
Perhaps that is the most important lesson from this epistle. Our brethren in the church should be our best friends – the most important to us.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.