I can think of the last time I wrote an email - even a long one at that. Sometimes my brother sends me text messages that should be letters because they come in 5 different parts, but I can't think of the last time I sat down and wrote a letter.
Think back, really hard to the last time that you wrote a letter, and tell me this. Would you like it to be published as a book? That is what we are dealing with when we come to most of the second half of the New Testament, and specifically when we come to 3 John, the third letter written to the community of believers that were being led by John, or at least his initial followers.
It is important as we continue tor read ahead, that we remember this. As we read any of the epistles, and especially as we read 3 John, we are reading a letter that was written from one individual to another, with a specific message in mind. There were very specific circumstances with a very specific time frame. However, there are also messages of the Gospel present in each and every one of these letters, which is why we still read them today.
Hope in the midst of despair, mercy in the midst of hate, and forgiveness in the midst of evil wrongdoing. Life in the midst of death, welcome in the midst of betrayal. This is the Gospel. This is Christianity at its best and finest.
What do you take from this letter? What message of Gospel are you receiving? Come join the conversation, and join us Sunday morning!
1 From the elder.
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I truly love.
2 Dear friend, I’m praying that all is well with you and that you enjoy good health in the same way that you prosper spiritually.
3 I was overjoyed when the brothers and sisters arrived and spoke highly of your faithfulness to the truth, shown by how you live according to the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth. 5 Dear friend, you act faithfully in whatever you do for our brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers. 6 They spoke highly of your love in front of the church. You all would do well to provide for their journey in a way that honors God, 7 because they left on their journey for the sake of Jesus Christ without accepting any support from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore, we ought to help people like this so that we can be coworkers with the truth.
9 I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, doesn’t welcome us. 10 Because of this, if I come, I will bring up what he has done—making unjustified and wicked accusations against us. And as if that were not enough, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers and sisters but stops those who want to do so and even throws them out of the church! 11 Dear friend, don’t imitate what is bad but what is good. Whoever practices what is good belongs to God. Whoever practices what is bad has not seen God.
12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, even the truth itself. We also speak highly of him, and you know that what we say is true.
13 I have a lot to say to you, but I don’t want to use pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will speak face-to-face.
15 Peace be with you. Your friends here greet you. Greet our friends there by name.