Gaius, Diothrephes, and Demetrius

Apr 5, 2024

3 John 1:4-5, 11 - “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 

[5] Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren and to strangers; 

[11] Beloved, follow not that which is evil but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”

In the third epistle written by John, he has three important purposes. Firstly, he writes to express his admiration and support for his beloved co-worker, Gaius. Gaius was actively involved in the ministry of hospitality, hosting and supporting the traveling preachers spreading the Gospel of Christ across different places. John commends Gaius for his efforts and encourages him to continue to serve with dedication and love.

Secondly, John indirectly condemns the behavior of Diothrephes, a leader who had taken control of one of the churches in the province of Asia. Diothrephes was known for his dictatorial approach, which directly opposed the teachings of the apostle and the Gospel of Christ. John warns against such behavior and encourages the followers of Christ to strive for humility, love, and service.

Lastly, John commends the example of Demetrius, who was known to have a good reputation and testimony. Demetrius was a faithful follower of Christ and positively influenced those around him. John highlights his example as a reminder for all believers to live a life of integrity and faithfulness, always striving to honor God and serve others.

In his usual commitment to truth, John writes a heartfelt letter to his beloved brother in Christ, Gaius, a man of wealth and distinction in a city near Ephesus. He praises Gaius for his unwavering care and hospitality towards messengers who travel far and wide to spread the Gospel, be they known to him or strangers. John inspires Gaius to continue doing good and to avoid following the example of Diotrephes, who refused to recognize John's authority as an apostle and ignored his letters. Through his words, John reminds us of the importance of treating strangers with kindness and respect and standing firm in our faith, even in the face of adversity.

In his letter, John mentions that Diothrephes spread false and defamatory rumors about him and even went as far as to expel members who showed kindness and hospitality to John's messengers. Despite this, John ends his letter on a positive note by praising the exemplary character of Demetrius, whose reputation he has heard of from several sources.

The teachings of Jesus prioritize hospitality, support, and encouragement for our fellow Christians. The beloved Apostle stresses the significance of walking in the truth of the Gospel by exemplifying these precepts. Gaius sets an excellent example in this ministry. We must welcome those who minister the Word into our churches and homes, demonstrating hospitality to them. We should also support and encourage those who are servants of the gospel.

It is important for us to be mindful of individuals whose words and deeds reflect the teachings of the Gospel and to have the wisdom to recognize those who, like Diotrephes, do not embody the same values. Let us strive to approach these situations with compassion and understanding while remaining steadfast in our commitment to the teachings of Jesus.

When it comes to showing hospitality to fellow Christians, particularly those who serve us and others in our local church or churches worldwide, it's important to understand that it involves extending a level of trust and acceptance that may not be required in our day-to-day interactions. It requires us to rely on a common bond with Jesus Christ rather than any particular blood relationship or shared cultural background. In essence, showing hospitality to others, especially strangers, is a test of our faith and willingness to embrace those different from us but who share our love for the Lord. It forces us out of our comfort zones and into a territory where we must trust God.

In his teachings, John emphasized the importance of embodying the virtues of love and truth in our daily lives, as exemplified by Jesus himself. He cited the cautionary tale of Diotrephes, who strayed from this path and suffered the consequences. As Christians, we have a profound responsibility to uphold the values of truth and compassion that Jesus espoused and to extend our support and care to those who dedicate themselves to serving God's people.

In the scriptures, we read about how our Lord was constantly surrounded by devoted individuals who tended to His every need. This serves as a reminder to us that we, too, should extend the same level of care and attention to those who continue to spread the teachings of Jesus in our present times. As followers of Christ, we are responsible for supporting and encouraging those who carry on His message, just as those who surrounded Him did in their time.

Our Prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father, we humbly ask for your guidance in aiding those who require care and a safe haven to rest their weary bodies after enduring long hours of travel. We seek your wisdom in helping us provide the necessary comfort and support to these individuals in their time of need. May we be your instruments of kindness and compassion to those who are in need, and may our actions reflect your eternal love and grace. Amen. remain hospitable and accept people whether they are known to us. You always have a purpose, so why do you allow this to happen? Help us not to perceive this as a problem but as an opportunity to obey You and to show Your love and kindness. In Jesus' name. Amen!