In the professional world we see promotions and accolades given to those who succed and progress in skill and business. Christians on the other hand have the reward of heaven to look forward to at the end of life. The world pits workers against each other for recognition but God would have us to work together that we may all be glorified together.
REJOICE OVER OTHERS BLESSINGS (III John 1-4).
Once again John greets his audience with “love in the truth” (vs. 1). Love and truth envelope so much of John’s writings because in his day there was much hatred toward Christians and desire to fill their ranks with deceivers. John shares his love four times in this short letter indicating his strong affection for believers (vss. 1, 2, 5, 11). His love though did not mean that he would sacrifice truth for them.
John’s care for Gaius and those that he shared with is seen in his prayer and desire to see them “prosper and be in health” (vs. 2). It is fine to pray for physical needs and wants but we must not forget to also focus on spiritual prosperity in our prayers for others. Blessings both come in physical and spiritual ways.
As John hears of the people’s faithfulness to truth he “rejoiced greatly” (vs. 3) for he has “no greater joy” then when people choose to follow Christ. Hearing of people’s commitment to Christ and continuing in the faith should bless believers over and over again. To many times we become inwardly focused on our own blessings and forget to share in others.
RECEIVING OTHER WORKERS (III John 5-8).
What we do for others in the community of faith and outside it is a testimony of the Spirit’s work in us. We should treat the “brethren” and “strangers” (vs. 5) with respect and love. We must be faithful of our equal treatment of people no matter who they are.
The purpose of treating others the with the same love and help is so that all may move “forward on their journey after a godly sort” (vs. 6). Whether we are dealing with sinner or saint what we do can help them come closer to God. We can also push people away from God and us by how we treat others.
It is because of our John’s audience was known for the kindness to others that those they helped followed their example. John’s audience walked in the truth of Jesus Christ and others decided to go forward also for “his name’s sake” (vs. 7). Our work and witness cantravel through others if we have a godly example.
John again encourages us to keep in the same example. To bless those that are working for God in ministry is to “be fellowhelpers to the truth” (vs. 8) as opposed to those that are partaker of evil deeds of deceivers (cf. II John 10-11). We should be able to show hospitality and support to those who further the advances of the gospel in our world.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD AND BAD WORKERS (III John 9-14).
John would not have us ignorant of what the opposite actions look like. He writes about a man called Diotrephes that loved being the front man. “Preeminence” (vs. 9) means superiority or surpassing presence. He wanted to be known as the best and would not receive other workers into his area.
He in fact would go so far as to tear down the ministry of those doing the will of God. “With malicious words” (vs. 10) is how we one may act when they are jealous over anothers blessings in God’s work. It is not right to have pride in ourselves as the only ones that can do any work for God.
John tells his readers to “follow not that which is evil, but that which is good” (vs. 11). There are those people that we should imitate and those that we should avoid. Everybody teaches something. The lessons are examples for us to either “imitate” or to “avoid.”
We must not always look for the examples that we should not follow but to also be mindful of those that are good examples. Demetrius had a “good report of all men” (vs. 12). He was apparently known to John’s audience more and did not need specific examples. What can be gained from the subject though is that he must have been able to work well with others. We need examples of people that work good in groups and have good relations with others.
John once again has much to “write” (vs 13) but would rather have “face to face” (vs.14). We need personal contact. We stay to far apart today. Even prior to quarantine.