3 John 1:1-14 ADDRESS:
WALKING IN THE
HOSPITALITY TO THE
1. I--emphatical. I personally, for my part. On Gaius or Caius,
before Second Epistle.
love in the truth--(2 John 1:1 this Epistle, indicating strong affection (3 John 1:1,2,5,11
2. above all things--Greek, "concerning all things": so
in all respects. But
WAHL justifies English Version (compare
1 Peter 4:8 "above all things" does not imply that John wishes Gaius' bodily health
above that of his soul, but as the first object to be desired
next after spiritual health. I know you are prospering in the
concerns of your soul. I wish you similar prosperity in your body.
Perhaps John had heard from the brethren (3 John 1:3 in bad health, and was tried in other ways (3 John 1:10 the wish, 3 John 1:2
be in health--in particular.
3. testified of the truth that is in thee--Greek, "of" (or
'to') thy truth": thy share of that truth in which thou walkest
even as thou--in contrast to Diotrephes (3 John 1:9
4. my children--members of the Church: confirming the view that the
"elect lady" is a Church.
5. faithfully--an act becoming a faithful man.
whatsoever thou doest--a distinct Greek word from the former
"doest": translate, "workest": whatsoever work, or labor of love, thou
dost perform. So Matthew 26:10 me."
and to strangers--The oldest manuscripts, "and that (that is, and
those brethren) strangers." The fact of the brethren whom thou didst
entertain being "strangers," enhances the love manifested in the act.
6. borne witness of thy charity before the church--to stimulate
others by the good example. The brethren so entertained by Gaius were
missionary evangelists (3 John 1:7 narrating their missionary labors for the edification of the Church
where John then was, incidentally mentioned the loving hospitality shown
them by Gaius.
bring forward on their journey--"If thou (continue to) forward
on their journey" by giving them provisions for the way.
after a godly sort--Greek, "in a manner worthy of God," whose
ambassadors they are, and whose servant thou art. He who honors God's
missionary servants (3 John 1:7
7. his name's sake--Christ's.
went forth--as missionaries.
taking nothing--refusing to receive aught by way of pay, or
maintenance, though justly entitled to it, as Paul at Corinth and at
Gentiles--the Christians just gathered out by their labors from among
the heathen. As Gaius himself was a Gentile convert, "the Gentiles"
here must mean the converts just made from the heathen, the Gentiles
to whom they had gone forth. It would have been inexpedient to have
taken aught (the Greek "meden" implies, not that they got nothing, though they had desired it, but that it was of
their own choice they took nothing) from the infant churches
among the heathen: the case was different in receiving hospitality from
8. We--in contradistinction to "the Gentiles" or "heathen" referred
to, 3 John 1:7
therefore--as they take nothing from the Gentiles or heathen.
receive--The oldest manuscripts read, "take up." As they "take"
nothing from the Gentiles, we ought to take them up so as to
fellow helpers--with them.
to the truth--that is, to promote the truth.
9. I wrote--The oldest manuscripts add "something": a
communication, probably, on the subject of receiving the brethren with brotherly love (3 John 1:8,10 the Spirit for the universal Church, or else it would have been
unto the church--of which Gaius is a member.
loveth . . . pre-eminence--through ambition. Evidently occupying a
high place in the Church where Gaius was (3 John 1:10
among them--over the members of the Church.
receiveth us not--virtually, namely, by not receiving with love
the brethren whom we recommended to be received (3 John 1:8,10 compare Matthew 10:40
10. if I come--(3 John 1:14
I will remember--literally, "I will bring to mind" before all by
stigmatizing and punishing.
prating--with mere silly tattle.
neither doth he . . . receive the brethren--with hospitality. "The
brethren" are the missionaries on their journey.
forbiddeth them that would--receive them.
casteth them--those that would receive the brethren, by excommunication
from the Church, which his influence, as a leading man (3 John 1:9 it, enabled him to do. NEANDER
thinks that the missionaries were JEWS
by birth, whence it is said in their praise they took nothing from
GENTILES: in contrast to other Jewish missionaries who abused
ministers' right of maintenance elsewhere, as Paul tells us,
2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:2,5,19 an ultra-Pauline party of anti-Jewish tendency, the forerunners of
Marcion: Diotrephes possibly stood at the head of this party, which
fact, as well as this domineering spirit, may account for his hostility
to the missionaries, and to the apostle John, who had, by the power of
love, tried to harmonize the various elements in the Asiatic churches.
At a later period, Marcion, we know, attached himself to Paul alone, and
paid no deference to the authority of John.
11. follow not that which is evil--as manifested in Diotrephes
(3 John 1:9,10
but . . . good--as manifested in Demetrius (3 John 1:12
is of God--is born of God, who is good.
hath not seen God--spiritually, not literally.
12. of all men--who have had opportunity of knowing his character.
of the truth itself--The Gospel standard of truth bears witness
to him that he walks conformably to it, in acts of real love,
hospitality to the brethren (in contrast to Diotrephes), &c. Compare
John 3:21 may be made manifest that they are wrought in God."
we also--besides the testimony of "all men," and "of the truth itself."
ye know--The oldest manuscripts read, "thou knowest."
13. I will not--rather as Greek, "I wish not . . . to write"
14. face to face--Greek, "mouth to mouth."
Peace--peace inward of conscience, peace fraternal of friendship,
peace supernal of glory [LYRA].
friends--a title seldom used in the New Testament, as it is absorbed
in the higher titles of "brother, brethren." Still Christ recognizes the
relation of friend also, based on the highest grounds, obedience to
Him from love, and entailing the highest privileges, admission to the
intimacy of the holy and glorious God, and sympathizing Saviour; so
Christians have "friends" in Christ. Here in a friendly letter, mention
of "friends" appropriately occurs.
by name--not less than if their names were written