What does 3 John 1:5 mean?
ESV: Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are,
NIV: Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you.
NASB: Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brothers and sisters, and especially when they are strangers;
CSB: Dear friend, you are acting faithfully in whatever you do for the brothers and sisters, especially when they are strangers.
NLT: Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you.
KJV: Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
NKJV: Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,
Verse Commentary:
John called Gaius "beloved," or "dear friend," for a third time in this verse. John rarely uses the Greek word pistos, meaning "trusty or faithful," using it only here, in 1 John 1:9, and John 5:4. This is high praise from the apostle John. The efforts in question are Gaius's hospitality for fellow believers, even those who are strangers. Though Gaius didn't personally know them, he treated them like family. These traveling Christians spoke highly of him to John and to others (3 John 1:6). By this time, most (if not all) of the original apostles had died. John would have been the only one left. Traveling evangelists and teachers were taking on a greater role in bringing Christian teachings to new places. Gaius led an existing church, and was known to those who visited him as a great host and godly man.
Verse Context:
Third John 1:1–8 introduces the writer as “the elder,” which tradition says is the apostle John. It specifies that the letter is meant for Gaius, who is praised for his positive reputation. In particular, Gaius is applauded for caring for missionaries and other traveling Christians. This is especially important to John, so those preaching the truth aren’t dependent on the support of non-believers.
Chapter Summary:
Third John is a short letter from the apostle John to a fellow Christian, Gaius. John emphasizes the importance of “truth,” which is mentioned a half-dozen times. The passage highlights the need for Christians to support each other, so that missionaries and evangelists don’t depend on the support of non-believers. John’s words also speak against church leaders who are more interested in reputation and power than submission to the truth.
Chapter Context:
Third John is a short letter from the apostle John to a fellow Christian, Gaius. John emphasizes the importance of “truth,” which is mentioned a half-dozen times. The passage highlights the need for Christians to support each other, so that missionaries and evangelists don’t depend on the support of non-believers. John’s words also speak against church leaders who are more interested in reputation and power than submission to the truth.
Book Summary:
Third John consists of just one chapter. This is a short letter from the apostle John to a fellow believer, Gaius. “Truth” is mentioned six times in this book's brief 15 verses. Gaius is praised for his commitment to Christian service. At the same time, John condemns the actions of Diotrephes, a church member causing problems. After mentioning the good reputation of a man named Demetrius, John closes his letter in the hope of coming to see Gaius face-to-face. This upcoming meeting seems to be why the letter is so short.
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