01 December 2015
by Philip Layton

A personal letter of commendation and encouragement from John to Gaius

Click here to read 3 John

Discussion Questions

  • Why do you think this means so much to John (v 4)?
  • Why do you think John kept this letter so short (vv 13, 14)?

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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'

While Diotrephes (v.9) is an example to avoid, Demetrius, the third character in this brief letter, is an example to follow. It seems likely that Demetrius is the bearer of this letter from John to Gaius. As a letter-carrier for the Lord he reminds us of others who found joy in a humble role.

John the Baptist said he was not worthy to untie the sandals of the One who was coming after him (Mark 1:7). The psalmist declared that he would rather be a ‘doorkeeper in the house of my God’ than anything else (Psalm 84:10). Jesus himself bent low to serve his closest friends by washing their feet (John 13:1-17). In this humble act he glorified for ever the role of a servant.

While Demetrius’s actions are not spelled out, John’s words of commendation paint a clear picture of this man’s character. He is a good man, a man of integrity, spoken well of by everyone and even by truth itself.

John makes it clear in each of his three letters that walking in the truth Is more than speaking the correct words or mouthing the right doctrine. Walking in truth means being on the outside what you are on the inside, being sincere when you could easily be insincere, being honest when it is tempting to be dishonest.

Demetrius sounds like a man who has heard the call of the Old Testament prophet Micah: ‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8).

With his warm commendation of this man, John closes this third letter with a greeting and his blessing of peace. Soon he will come in person and they will be able to talk together ‘face to face’. His presence then will do what no letter can ever do.

May the example of this man Demetrius help us all today to walk in truth.

To reflect on:

O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth, learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, defend the truth till death!

John Huss

Tags: 3 John