Bible Study Notes on 3 John – 20170616

Bible Study Notes

3 John 1  “…To the beloved Gaius…”
Commentary says Gaius or Caius.  Apparently written both ways in different copies.  No clear idea of the identity.  So much later than the rest of scripture he’s obviously not someone who’s been mentioned before.  Some speculated he lived in Macedonia or Pergamos.  Greeting is so similar to the second epistle, makes me think that one was to a particular person as well, not necessarily to a whole church body.  Just speculation.  Found interesting that commentary mentioned idea that after death of Roman Domitian, John left his Patmos exile and traveled about visiting churches and wrote these epistles during that time.  So these letters would have been written after he wrote Revelation.  I had thought he died on Patmos.

3  “…when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you…”
Similar to Paul’s situation.  Travelers bringing news of the conditions of the churches and individuals.

7  “…taking nothing from the Gentiles”
Apparently missionaries planting churches among Gentiles.  They survived on their own work and the gifts of established churches so they didn’t have to take anything from the new churches.  Similar idea of the SBC’s Cooperative Program.  Shows a new group that you’re not someone trying to make money from them, that you and others who are supporting you care enough about the group to spend your own money to share Christ with them.

8  “We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.”
Importance of supporting others in missionary work.  We become fellow workers with them by providing the means for them to go.  Good to go yourself when you can, but doesn’t diminish the importance of background support.  Those who stay behind with the stuff are just as much a part of the effort as those who go.

9-11  “…Diotrephes…loves…preeminence…does not receive us…prating against us with malicious words…does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church…he who does evil has not seen God”
Trouble in the early churches.  Someone who had apparently been given or had taken position of power or authority in that church.  Wanted everyone to know it.  Grew up in a church with folks like him.  For some reason, they think the church is there to serve them and their ideas, not follow God and His designated leadership.  This one even followed the same routine, talking badly about John, not cooperating with other believers, denigrating those who wanted to, to the point of putting them out of the church.  Since we know that those who truly follow God do not continually do evil, what does that say about those in the church who have no problem with it.  I often wondered about that myself when I saw the actions of some in the church.  Wondered if they really were believers or had just been going through the motions.  I get the impression that is what John suspected of Diotrephes.

12  “Demetrius has a good testimony…”
Wonder why John mentions him.  Since he has mentioned Diotrephes and his condition, it seems he is mentioning Demetrius as an opposing condition.  Showing the contrast.

13  “I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink”
Same thing he said in his letter to the lady.  I’m sure he wanted to see Gaius face to face as the other, but I wonder about other possible reasons he doesn’t write much.  Physical infirmities and such, or perhaps he had something that was too personal to put in a letter which someone else might read.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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