October 10 2021
Today, Sunday October 10
“The Beloved Gaius”
3 John 1:1-4 “The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
Today we start a new study on the Epistle of Third John. This is the shortest epistle in the Greek New Testament but it still has a wonderful and encouraging message for every believer today! John introduces his letter by calling himself, “The Elder.” Now he could have called himself, an Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ. Or he could have mentioned that he was the “beloved disciple of Jesus”. Or even said that he was a pastor but here he simply says, “Elder”, probably referring to both his position as a spiritual leader in the church and maybe also his age. At this time he is in his upper nineties.
As we look at this little letter we will notice that John mentions three different men that are in the church. They are Gaius, Diotrephes and Demetrius. These men represent three different types of people we have in our churches even today. Actually John wrote this letter specifically to Gaius, who no doubt was a leader in this particular church.
John calls him “the beloved Gaius”. So he must have been a dear friend of John. And John said that he “loved him in truth.” John appears to emphasis the same lesson he was making in 2 John. You can’t have love without truth and love should always be expressed in the context of truth.
This reminds me of a passage in Philippians 1:9, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment…” Our love should abound and grow as we make progress in our spiritual journey, but it should always be “in knowledge and all discernment.” Christian love is not giving something or just anything materially to a person in need but it is discerning the real need of an individual and taking the time to address that need.
I’m afraid sometimes we give money to a project or need so we will not feel guilty. A verse in Proverbs comes to mind that says, “The righteous considers the cause of the poor.” (Proverbs 29:7) We should be more concerned about why someone is struggling with their finances or what the real spiritual condition of their heart is. We call this “tough love” and instead of giving them money, we make the time to take them to find a job or help them get financial counseling.
As we look at Gaius over the next few days it is my prayer that we will ask the Lord to help us develop the wonderful qualities that John points out in his friend.