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Wenstrom Bible Ministries Marion, Iowa Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom www.wenstrom.org. Sunday September 15, 2013 Third John: Third John 5-6-John Commends Gaius for His Hospitality to Itinerant Communicators of the Gospel Lesson # 4. Please turn in your Bibles to Third John1.

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Wenstrom bible ministries marion iowa pastor teacher bill wenstrom www wenstrom org
Wenstrom Bible MinistriesMarion, IowaPastor-Teacher Bill Wenstromwww.wenstrom.org


Sunday September 15, 2013Third John: Third John 5-6-John Commends Gaius for His Hospitality to Itinerant Communicators of the GospelLesson # 4



3 John 1 From the elder, to Gaius, the beloved, whom I myself divinely love by means of the truth. 2 Beloved, I myself make it a habit of praying that you would be prospered with regards to all things as well as that you would be in good health just as your soul prospers.


3 For I was prompted to greatly rejoice during the time when brothers and sisters arrived as they testified to your truth because you make it your habit of living by means of the truth. 4 I never experience a greater joy than this, namely that, I regularly hear about my own spiritual children because they are making it their habit of living by means of the truth. (My translation)


3 John 5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers. (NASB95)


accomplish for the brethren, and especially You are acting faithfully” is describing Gaius’ actions in demonstrating hospitality to itinerant communicators of the gospel as firmly adhering to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ’s command to love one another and the teaching of the apostles to demonstrate hospitality (cf. Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9; Hebrews 13:2).


accomplish for the brethren, and especially In whatever” is composed of the relative pronoun hos (ὅς), and the conditional particle ean (ἐάν), and together they mean “regarding whatever” referring to the hospitable actions of Gaius towards the itinerant communicators of the gospel but without identifying what these actions were specifically.


The conditional particle is introducing a protasis of a fifth class condition, which teaches a spiritual principle that is applicable to every Christian and not just Gaius.


This principle teaches that a Christian is faithful to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles by working hard in demonstrating hospitality to the itinerant communicators of the gospel.


teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles by working hard in demonstrating hospitality to the itinerant communicators of the gospel.We have accomplished” is the verb ergazomai (ἐργάζομαι), which means, “to engage in an activity involving considerable expenditure of effort, energy and diligence,” thus “to labor, to work hard to accomplish something.”



demonstrating hospitality to them. Brethren” is the noun adelphos (ἀδελφός), which means “spiritual brothers and sisters” and refers to certain unidentified Christian men who communicated the gospel to the unsaved as an evangelist or taught the gospel to the body of Christ as pastors.


This noun not only refers to these men but also their wives and children who traveled with them and came to Gaius’ place of residence in search of food, shelter, clothing and fellowship.


and children who traveled with them and came to Gaius’ place of residence in search of food, shelter, clothing and fellowship. And especially when they are strangers” is composed of the conjunction kai (καί), “and” which is followed by the immediate demonstrative pronoun houtos (οὗτος) (oo-toce), which is not translated and the adjective xenos (ξένος), “strangers.”


Many translations render this word and children who traveled with them and came to Gaius’ place of residence in search of food, shelter, clothing and fellowship. kai “even though” (NRSV, NET, NIV) indicating that Gaius was acting faithfully with regards to the teaching of the Lord and His apostles by demonstrating hospitality to his spiritual brothers and sisters “even though” they were strangers.


The conjunction and children who traveled with them and came to Gaius’ place of residence in search of food, shelter, clothing and fellowship. kai could also be interpreted “especially” to emphasize with Gaius that he was acting faithfully with regards to the teaching of the Lord and His apostles by demonstrating hospitality to itinerant communicators of the gospel and their families who were strangers.



The concessive sense is more in keeping with the context since the latter would imply that Gaius might not think that acting hospitably to strangers was in keeping with the apostolic teaching and the teaching of the Lord.


He might not have thought this was the case since John informs Gaius in verse 9 that he wrote to the church to demonstrate hospitality to strangers who have his approval but Diotrephes rejected these instructions.


In verse 10, John says that Diotrephes refused to demonstrate hospitality to these Christians and forbid other Christians to do so and put them out of the fellowship of the church.


Thus john was concerned that gaius was listening to diotrephes rather than his written instructions
Thus, John was concerned that Gaius was listening to Diotrephes rather than his written instructions.


Therefore, in verse 5, the conjunction Diotrephes rather than his written instructions. kai means “even though” since John is attempting to reassure Gaius that demonstrating hospitality to Christians who were strangers was the correct action to take contrary to the actions of Diotrephes.


It was the correct action because John had previously written to the churches to exercise hospitality to these Christians who he approved of.


3 John 5 Beloved, you continue to act faithfully with regards to whatever you work hard accomplishing on behalf of your spiritual brothers and sisters even though this is on behalf of strangers. (My translation)


In verse 5, the apostle John transitions from commending Gaius for walking by means of the truth to addressing the matter which prompted him to write to Gaius in the first place.


John commends Gaius for demonstrating hospitality to itinerant communicators of the gospel and encourages him to continue to do so in light of the situation with Diotrephes who does not do so in violation of John’s command.


The apostle John employs a fifth class condition in order to teach a spiritual principle that is applicable to every Christian and not just Gaius, namely that a Christian is faithful to the teaching of the Lord and His apostles by working hard in demonstrating hospitality to the itinerant communicators of the gospel.


The apostle encourages Gaius that he has acted faithfully with regards to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles by working hard in demonstrating hospitality on behalf of his spiritual brothers and sisters even though they were strangers to him.


These Christians who were strangers to Gaius were itinerant communicators of the gospel and their families as indicated in verses 9-10, which condemns Diotrephes for not following John’s instructions to demonstrate hospitality to these Christians even though they were strangers.


Obviously John must have approved of these strangers because of interviewing them with regards to their teaching and observing their conduct.


The fact that John says in verse 9 that he wrote in advance to the church regarding these itinerant communicators of the gospel indicates that these itinerant communicators carried with them the written approval of the apostle himself.


It also indicates Gaius knew of John’s instructions but unlike Diotrephes he adhered to these instructions conscientiously.


3 John 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. (NASB95)


church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. (NASB95)And they have testified to your love before the church” refers to certain unidentified itinerant communicators of the gospel who were strangers to Gaius and spoke to the apostle John testifying to the fact that he demonstrated great hospitality when traveling to Ephesus.


Gaius’ love was a reflection of God’s love in his life which was reproduced in the life of Gaius by the Holy Spirit when he exercised faith in the Word of God and specifically faith in the command to love one another as Christ loved as well as the commands to demonstrate hospitality to the body of Christ (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9; Hebrews 13:2).


which was reproduced in the life of Gaius by the Holy Spirit when he exercised faith in the Word of God and specifically faith in the command to love one another as Christ loved as well as the commands to demonstrate hospitality to the body of Christ (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9; Hebrews 13:2). Before the church” indicates that these itinerant communicators of the gospel testified of Gaius’ divine love “in the presence of” the church.


which was reproduced in the life of Gaius by the Holy Spirit when he exercised faith in the Word of God and specifically faith in the command to love one another as Christ loved as well as the commands to demonstrate hospitality to the body of Christ (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9; Hebrews 13:2). You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God” refers to Gaius demonstrating hospitality to itinerant communicators of the gospel who are strangers to him but are carrying a commendation from John.


This statement speaks of hospitality on the part of those churches in providing for the needs of itinerant communicators of the gospel.


The churches were instructed to provide for the material and financial needs of evangelists who communicate the gospel to the unsaved for eternal salvation or pastor-teachers who communicate the Word of God to the body of Christ for their spiritual growth.


This statement in verse 6 would encourage Gaius that he was acting in accordance with the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles, which appears in the Greek New Testament by demonstrating hospitality to itinerant communicators of the gospel even though they are strangers.


acting in accordance with the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles, which appears in the Greek New Testament by demonstrating hospitality to itinerant communicators of the gospel even though they are strangers. In a manner worth of God” denotes the proper way of welcoming a fellow Christian and especially an itinerant communicator of the gospel by showing them honor and hospitality, which is in accordance with the Lord’s teaching to love one another.


3 John 6 They testified to your divine-love in the presence of the church. You will act correctly by sending them on their way in a manner of the one and only God. (My translation)


Sending these itinerant communicators of the gospel in a manner worthy of God would involve providing for the material and financial needs of evangelists who communicate the gospel to the unsaved for eternal salvation or pastor-teachers who communicate the Word of God to the body of Christ for their spiritual growth.


Therefore, we can see that in the first century apostolic church, churches were interdependent in the sense that they depended on the hospitality of each other.


The apostle John’s statements in verse 6 indicate that these itinerant communicators of the gospel who Gaius extended hospitality to were on their way to visit him again.


They had been there once already and had returned with a good report of how gaius had assisted them
They had been there once already and had returned with a good report of how Gaius had assisted them.


It is very possible that they were carrying with them the present letter as a letter of introduction, thus, it has been suggested that Demetrius (cf. 3 John 12) is one of these individuals and maybe even the leader of the delegation.


John would thus be formally introducing him to Gaius, since when he was there the last time he was a stranger (cf. verse 5) but Gaius assisted him anyway.


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