3 John (3 Jn)
Book 25 of the NT, having 1 chapter. Written by the apostle John about AD 90. Time to read: 5 mins.
Key people: John, Gaius, Diotrephes, Demetrius
Outline. It was addressed to Gaius, a prominent Christian, to commend him for his hospitality. His actions and lifestyle are in contrast to another leader’s bad example – Diotrephes who misused his position and authority. Another person, “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone – and even by the truth itself”, hence a good example (3 Jn 1:12).
Main lesson. We develop a reputation, be it good or bad, through consistent habits that not only govern our lives but influence the wider community. So “do not imitate what is evil but what is good” (3 Jn 1:11).
Key verses and thoughts: * “Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, inviting them into your home” (3 Jn 1:5). Hospitality – making your home available to serve the practical needs of others – is a vital and powerful tool to minister to non-Christians and believers, strangers or friends alike. Opening up your home is opening up your heart in love, showing you care. Meals or accommodation doesn’t have to be elaborate – it is a tangible expression of meeting a need and sharing what we have been blessed with. In today’s individualistic society such welcoming action displays that we value people and can touch them deeply as we give generously, outworking the grace of God. Lasting friendships are often formed. Am I developing and practicing this gift of friendship by serving my fellow humans with the love of Christ?
See also: hospitality, 1 John, 2 John, reputation.