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III John
A third Christian is named by John, and given a good report.

III John

The twentieth, and penultimate, of the Epistles is III John. It was written by Jesus' disciple sometime around 95 AD, most likely in Ephesus, a Greek city in modern day Turkey.

The letter talks about friendship and hospitality amongst Christians. At the time there were many itinerant preachers, whose mission was to travel the land, founding new churches and strengthening ones already established. These missionaries relied on their fellow believers' charity whilst on their travels, and III John tells Christians how they should treat them; and how they should not.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
The letter is addressed to one man in particular. What is his name?
It is not known exactly who Gaius was, but we do know that he was a fellow Christian and friend of John.

III John 1:1
"The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth"
Which two things does John wish for his friend Gaius?
Long life and happiness
Joy and laughter
Wealth and abundance
Health and prosperity
Gaius' soul is in perfect health and John wishes for the same blessing to be given to his body.

III John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth"
John is delighted to hear that Gaius is living a good life in truth. Who does he say brought him this news?
The elders
The brothers
III John 1:3
"For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth"

The "brethren" are "brothers," or fellow Christians
John says that nothing brings him more pleasure than hearing that Christians in his churches are living as they should. What name does he give to these Christians?
His children
His brothers
God's children
Christ's brothers
The knowledge that the members of his churches are living as they should in Christ is a joy for John.

III John 1:4
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth"
Gaius is thanked by John for which deeds in particular?
For helping the poor
For helping the sick
For helping missionaries
For helping the dying
The travelling missionaries have no food, money or shelter and rely on people like Gaius for help.

III John 1:5-8
"Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth"
One Christian is named and criticised by John. What is his name?
Diotrephes is proud and refuses to accept John's authority over him.

III John 1:9
"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not"
Unlike Gaius, Diotrephes does not welcome missionaries; he even forbids others to help them. What punishment does he deal out to any who welcome missionaries?
He removes them from the Church
He imposes a fine
He berates them in public
He has them flogged
As well as this, Diotrephes has been slandering and insulting his fellow Christians.

III John 1:10
"Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church"
A third Christian is named by John, and given a good report. What is his name?
It is thought that Demetrius was a travelling missionary and that III John is partly a letter of reference for him.

III John 1:11-12
"Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true"
The letter ends with John wishing Gaius peace. He then sends salutations from who?
From God
From their friends
From Christ
From their brothers
The letter is very brief. John has much more to say, but would prefer to say it in person when the two men next meet.

III John 1:13-14
"I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: but I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.
Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name"
As well as being the shortest book in the New Testament by word-count, III John is unique in one other way. It is the only book in the New Testament not to use which words?
Salvation or saviour
Sin or evil
Jesus or Christ
Repentance or forgiveness
Given that the letter was a personal one between friends, this is not surprising. The length of the letter is also limiting.
Jesus is referred to in the words "for his name’s sake" (verse 7) and the two men would have known exactly who they were talking about


Author:  Graeme Haw

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