Did You Know...?
1. “I pray that you may prosper…” (2): “This is a standard greeting in many ancient letters, which quite often began with a prayer for the reader’s health, frequently including the prayer that all would go well with the person (not just material prosperity, as some translations could be read as implying).”
2. “Send them forward on their journey” refers to the supplying of necessary provisions for a person’s journey (cf. Acts 15:3; Tit 3:13). [ref]
Compare the following items in 2 and
3 John: a. Similar words and phrases that are repeated b. Tone c. Church problemsHide Answer
a. Love in truth. I rejoiced greatly. Walk in the truth. Many things to write. I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink. Speak face to face.
b. The tone carries personal affection and joy, despite the strict warnings.
2 John, the author warned against receiving the false preachers. In 3 John the problem that the church faced was the wicked deeds of an individual who forbade receiving the preachers of the truth.
Record what you know about the three characters in this epistle: a. Gaius b. Diotrephes c. DemetriusHide Answer
a. He is dearly loved by the author. His soul prospers. He is faithful in his work of hospitality. He received the workers of God, even though he did not know them personally.
b. He loves to have the preeminence among the workers. He does not receive the workers of God and speaks malicious words against them. He forbids believers who wish to receive the preachers and puts them out of the church.
c. He has good reputation. Everyone in the church, including the workers of God, and the truth itself testify to his good character.
What is the “prosperity of the soul”?
Why is it the elder’s greatest joy to hear that his children walk in the truth?
What does this paragraph teach about hospitality?Hide Answer
It should be done faithfully. We must show hospitality to both the brethren and “strangers” (see next question). We should do it in a manner worthy of God.
What is the significance of the phrase “in a manner worth of God”?
Why is it admirable that Gaius received brothers who were strangers to him?Hide Answer
We tend to love those whom we are acquainted with or those who are close to us. But Gaius put the ministry above his own interests and preferences.
Who are the strangers in your personal or church life? How should you receive them?
Why does the author stress that these witnesses were going forth “for His name’s sake”?
Why was receiving these missionaries so important to the church at that time, considering the situation of the church?Hide Answer
The workers of God at that time often depended on believers’ provisions and opening their homes up for lodging (7; cf.
2Cor 11:8, 9; Phil 4:18). At a time when there were also travelling false teachers (2Jn 10), it became even more important to receive the preachers of the truth in order to support God’s ministry.
In what ways can you receive and support the workers of God today and become their fellow workers?
What does this passage say about Diotrephes’ thoughts, words, and deeds?
Could his words and actions have stemmed from his thoughts? If so, how?
What does it mean that Demetrius has a good testimony from the truth itself? Do you have a good testimony from the truth, not just from other people?
Why do people tend to imitate evil?Hide Answer
They are afraid to be oppressed by evil (cf. 10). Evildoers often prosper for the time being, while the righteous often suffer.
What reason does the author give for imitating good instead of evil?Hide Answer
Goodness comes from God and pleases God.
Do you sometimes become discouraged in the church because of the wicked deeds of some individuals? How does this passage encourage you?Hide Answer
Discouragement is often a sign of defeat, showing that we have succumbed to evil. While evil may sometimes exist in the community of believers, we should look at the good examples and imitate them (11,12). In doing so, we help strengthen truth and godly love.
What is the meaning and significance of greeting the friends “by name”? (cf. Jn 10:3). How is it related to the context of this epistle?Hide Answer
Greeting by name implies personal knowledge and intimate affection. This is the tone and attitude of the author himself.
Do you greet your brothers and sister “by name”? How can you enhance your relationship with other believers?