3 JOHN 1:1-3
1 The Elder, to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Gaius was generally a Roman name, and in his travels no doubt John made many Roman friends. Apparently Gaius held some sort of leadership position within the churches, as others reported to John of his activities.
3 JOHN 1:5-8
5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,
6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,
7 because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.
8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.
Apparently Gaius residence was something of a "way station" for apostles and evangelists passing through his area, a place where Christian travelers could rest, exchange news, get provisions for their journey, etc. They did not want to burden the Gentiles to whom they preached, so the churches would send money and provisions to these "way stations" to provide for these travelers so they would not be hindered on their journeys.
In his letters Paul speaks of one of these places when he said to Titus;
13 Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing.
3 JOHN 1:9-12
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.
10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.
Unfortunately some churches harbor 'cliques', where someone with a charismatic or forceful personality can dominate a group of people and 'shut out' members that they don't like. You can see this with some TV "prime time" preachers whose slick personalities and charismatic slogans can sway large audiences.
These people ignore or forget that it is God's church they are attending, not their own personal fiefdom. And these people crave attention and adulation like an addict craves drugs. Such people can drive the Holy Spirit right out of a church.
3 JOHN 1:13-14
13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink;
14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
John must have written this just before he was exiled to the Roman tin mines on the isle of Patmos (described in the beginning verses of Revelation), or just after his release, as he hopes to be able to travel to see Gaius soon. Whether he died on Parmos or was able to see Gaius is unknown.
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