3 John chapter 1

John the Evangelist greets Gaius the beloved. Gaius cares for itinerant preachers. Diotrephes is harming the community.





VERSE 1. The elder to Gaius the beloved, whom I love in truth.

The elder. The Greek word is hpresbyteros. It means “old man.”

Gaius the beloved. Gaius probably lived in Roman Asia, which we now refer to as western Turkey.

the beloved. The Greek word is agapêtô. It can also be translated as “my dear friend.”

in truth. John’s love for Gaius is sincere and in accord with God’s truth.


VERSE 2. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be healthy, even as your soul prospers.

I pray that you. John prays for Gaius.

that you may prosper in all things. Some Christians interpret prosperity as a sign of God’s favor. If you are rich, you are walking with God.

And they interpret poverty as a lack of favor from God. If you are poor, it is because you have sinned.

and be healthy. Similarly, some Christians interpret physical heath as a sign of God’s favor. If you are healthy, you are walking with God. Conversely, they interpret illness as a lack of favor from God. If you are sick, you have sinned.


VERSE 3. For I rejoiced greatly when brothers came and testified about your truth, even as you walk in truth.

you walk in truth. John was told that Gaius was a person of truth.


VERSE 4. I have no greater joy than this: to hear about my children walking in truth.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Third Letter of John and from the entire Bible.

no greater joy than this. This is a strong statement.

my children. John considered certain people to be his children, in a spiritual sense. Maybe he brought them into the faith. Maybe he trained them as disciples.

Do you have any “children,” in a spiritual sense?

1 Corinthians 4:14. I don’t write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

Galatians 4:19. My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ is formed in you—

Philipplians 2:22. But you know the proof of him, that as a child serves a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the Good News.

1 Thessalonians 3:7. for this cause, brothers, we were comforted over you in all our distress and affliction through your faith.

3 John 1:4. I have no greater joy than this: to hear about my children walking in truth.

Revelation 3:14. To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation, says these things:

walking in truth. John’s greatest joy was to hear that his spiritual children were walking according to the truth.

Christians are often untrustworthy. Corrupt. It is necessary to have contracts. And lawyers and lawsuits. Why are Christians so dishonest? Read more »




VERSE 5. Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers.

those who are brothers and strangers. Some manuscripts read “for the brothers and for strangers.”

In either case, John the Evangelist commends Gaius for his hospitality to strangers.

Most of us think fasting is about food. But the prophet Isaiah calls for TRUE fasting. It is to undo injustice and oppression. It is to feed and clothe poor people. Read more »


VERSE 6. They have testified about your love before the assembly. You will do well to send them forward on their journey in a way worthy of God,

They. Presumably this refers to the brothers and strangers Gaius had welcomed.

your love. That is, his hospitality, as we saw in the previous verse.


VERSE 7. because for the sake of the Name they went out, taking nothing from the Gentiles.

for the sake of the Name they went out. They are itinerant preachers. They set out on foot and walk. Wherever they go, they preach Jesus Christ to anyone they meet.


VERSE 8. We therefore ought to receive such, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.




VERSE 9. I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, doesn’t accept what we say.

Diotrephes, who loves to be first. Even in those early days, there were believers in the church with a politician-mindset.

They dominated other people. They were very impressed with themselves. They saw themselves as the undisputed leaders and took charge of everything.

The man mentioned in this verse, Diotrephes, was so impressed with himself that he rejected the instructions of John the Evangelist!


VERSE 10. Therefore if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words. Not content with this, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and those who would, he forbids and throws out of the assembly.

I will call attention to his deeds. Diotrephes needed to be called out. He needed to be dethroned.

he forbids and throws out of the assembly. For the believer with a politician-mindset, one of their main tools is to kick people out.


VERSE 11. Beloved, don’t imitate that which is evil, but that which is good. He who does good is of God. He who does evil hasn’t seen God.


VERSE 12. Demetrius has the testimony of all, and of the truth itself; yes, we also testify, and you know that our testimony is true.

Demetrius. He was probably a traveling preacher.




VERSE 13. I had many things to write to you, but I am unwilling to write to you with ink and pen;

I had many things to write. John the Evangelist has much more to say.


VERSE 14. but I hope to see you soon. Then we will speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

The friends … the friends. Christians should be a network of friends.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.