People's New Testament
The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
1:1 SUMMARY OF III JOHN: Gaius Commended. His Hospitality. His Treatment of Visiting Brethren. The Wicked Conduct of Diotrephes. The Good Report of Demetrius. Benediction.
The elder. See PNT 2Jo 1:1.
Unto the well-beloved Gaius. This name is mentioned in Ac 19:29 20:04 Ro 16:23 1Co 1:14 The hospitality of the Corinthian Gaius named in Romans agrees well with what John says of him whom he addresses.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
1:2 Even as thy soul prospereth. He wishes Gaius all good things, but most of all prosperity of soul.
For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
1:3 For I rejoiced greatly. Certain brethren had been where Gaius lived, had enjoyed his hospitality and had spoken well of him to John on their return.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
1:4 I have no greater joy. That which gave him the greatest joy was to know that the saints walked in the truth.
My children. The aged John was wont to call the saints his children. See 1Jo 2:1,12,18,28 4:04 5:21.
Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
1:5 Thou doest faithfully. In his kindness to brethren and strangers. In those early ages hospitality to the saints sent on evangelistic missions, and especially to persecuted saints driven from home, was a very important duty.
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:
1:6 Which have borne testimony to thy charity. These traveling brethren reported to the Church how Gaius had aided them.
Thou shalt do well. A polite exhortation to continue such hospitality in the future. The hospitality was wont to be shown not only by opening the home to these saints, but by helping them on their journey.
Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
1:7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth. The persons named were engaged in the work of Christ, for his name's sake.
Taking nothing of the Gentiles. They could not ask aid of the Gentiles. The Greek form does not imply that the Gentiles had tendered presents which had been rejected ( Winer's Greek Grammar of the New Testament, p. 388, note 1).
We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
1:9 I wrote unto the church. Of which Gaius was a member. The letter referred to is not extant.
But Diotrephes. This man is not elsewhere named. He was evidently an ambitious and unscrupulous church official, who
Receiveth us not, that is, rebelled against the apostle's authority, and who refused to heed the letter. The letter may have been sent by those whom Gaius entertained.
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.
1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth. It may be necessary for him to come. If he does, he will arraign Diotrephes for his deeds.
Prating against us with malicious words. Excusing himself by maligning John.
Neither doth he himself receive the brethren. The messengers John sent.
And forbiddeth them that would. Seeks to prevent any of the church from hearing or extending hospitality to these messengers.
And casting them out of the church. Seeks to have them denied Christian fellowship.
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.
1:11 Follow not that which is evil. The wicked example of one like Diotrephes.
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.
1:12 Demetrius hath good report by all men. Of this Demetrius we know nothing more. Perhaps he was a member of the same church as Diotrephes, whose example is contrasted.
I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
1:13,14 I had many things to write. These verses correspond with 2Jo 1:12,13. See notes there.
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.
1:14 Greet the friends. An uncommon title in the New Testament, where it is almost supplanted by the dearer title of brethren or the holier one of saints.