>It is here in 3 John that we find Gaius serving faithfully in spite of the foolishness that was going on in his congregation. He is sacrificially hospitable to the very ones that his pastor was too selfish to embrace. In a real sense, his messy church situation didn’t detour him away from his mission.
It is with this in mind that John writes. He wanted Gaius to know that his labor was not in vain. He offers his good friend a pat on the back (verse 4). Not only does he offer him a pat on the back, he offers spiritual support. Verse 3 says that John prayed for a balanced blessing. Just a side bar if I may. This is why verse 3 is not a good proof text for those of the prosperity persuasion. Verse 3 is not a mandate from God to be rich or free from disease. It is a desire from a trusted friend that the fruits of his labor spiritually be seen &/or experienced physically.
John then offers physical support by stating that he would address the situation at hand in person. He says in verses 9-10 that a letter had already been sent, but when he arrives he’ll speak with Diotrephes face to face. Lastly he offers partnership. He tells Gaius there’s somebody close, with skin on, that you can’t trust. His name was Demetrius.
So in this very short letter John does many things for Gaius:
– He lets him know that his labor was not in vain (Pats him on the back – v.4–6)
– He supports him spiritually (Prays for a balanced blessing – v.3)
– He supports him physically (Will address the situation in person – v.9-10)
– He supports him ministerially (Offers partnership – verse 12)
I believe that everyone from time to time needs encouragement and instruction. Everyone needs a “John” who is gracious enough to meet you where you are and loving enough to challenge you to go further. Those that have played the role of “John” have been many. For example my Pastor has been a “John” to me through his support, instruction and transparency. My professor has been a “John” to me through his time, love and genuine investment in my betterment. The one to which I am paired for life, my wife, has been a “John” to me through keeping me humble and making sure I don’t focus so much on outer success that I miss out on what’s most important. My partner, DaJuan Mack, has been a “John” to me by just being there when I needed a friend.
I truly believe that every church needs a Gaius and every Gaius needs a John.