Summary: This is our second in a series I call Short and Sweet As we look at some of the often forgotten short books in the N.T. It looks at the need for hospitality in today’s world

Christian Hospitality

III John

You may be wondering why I chose 3 John this morning

Why not start with 1 John?

Well I have been known to buck the system

Go against the flow, do things a little differently

No, actually I choose 3 John next because it is similar in a way to Philemon that we studied last week

This is our second in a series I call Short and Sweet

As we look at some of the often forgotten short books in the N.T.

3 John, like Philemon, is a personal letter

It is addressed in v 1 to Gaius

“the well beloved Gaius whom I love in the truth”

And while Philemon taught us about forgiveness and how in one way it can promote unity in the church

And encourage others in the faith

This letter gives us an important glimpse into the life of the early church

Third John is about the need for showing hospitality to traveling preachers and other believers

And it also warns against a would-be church dictator

Third John is the most personal of John’s 3 epistles

It, along with 2 John, is the shortest book in the Bible

But it offers a stark contrast between two men who respond in opposite ways to the teachers who have been sent out by the apostle

The faithful Gaius responds with generosity and hospitality

But the faithless Diotrephes responds with arrogance and opposition

Thus John, that is John of the 12 apostles, writes to commend Gaius for walking in the truth

And to condemn Diotrephes for walking in error

I. Commendation regarding Christian hospitality


Read 1-8

At special invitation or with a surprise knock company arrives

And with them comes the promise of soiled floors, extra laundry, dirty dishes, altered schedules, personal expense, and inconvenience

From sharing a meal to providing a bed, hospitality costs

In time, energy and money

But how we treat others reflects our true values

What is really important to us

Do we see people as objects or inconveniences

Or as unique creations of a loving God?

And which is more important to God

A person or a carpet?

Perhaps the most effective way to demonstrate God’s values and Christ’s love to others is to invite and welcome guests into our homes

I can’t help but think of the movie Christmas Vacation

The Griswalds are having Christmas at their home this year

That means everybody will intrude in a way on their celebration

Everyone including cousin Eddie

With his humungous dog, heathen children and smelly motor home

They are all “welcomed” into their home

But some are more welcome then others

Hospitality isn’t what it used to be

We don’t have company over like we used to, do we?

It used to be that people came and went to others homes very often

Getting together on a regular basis

But in today’s society we don’t feel as comfortable with that concept

Home is a sanctuary, where we can let our hair down

Prop our feet up, and escape from this busy world

As Christians we need to learn a lesson from good old Gaius

He developed a reputation for being very hospitable

Gaius was a fine Christian man

John’s statement “when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee”

He indicates that Christians continually praised Gaius’ exemplary obedience to the fundamentals of the faith

His spiritual reputation was well known

Jayna gives me a hard time sometimes when I am talking about somebody and I say

“He seems like a good guy”

We all want to be known as “a good guy” or a “good ole boy”

We want our kids to be known as “good kids”

But it is so much more important to be known as a spiritual guy

If I were to ask you to think of someone you would consider a “good guy” you probably pictures someone fairly easily

I’m thinking of someone myself

He is well liked, everybody who knows him likes him

He is fun to be around, has a good family, can carry on interesting conversations

He is a good guy

Now I ask you to think of a “spiritual man”

Are you picturing someone different?

You see, that’s a horse of a different color isn’t it?

Now I’m thinking of someone like my grandpa, who has gone on to be with the Lord

Or maybe Dr Jesse Thomas, at CBC

Maybe Billy Graham, or even someone from here that has passed on

To be labeled a good guy is okay

But to be labeled a spiritual man is GREAT

There won’t be any good ole boys in heaven

John said Gaius “ thou walkest in the truth”

Gaius’ walk matched his talk

His reputation for practicing what he preached was exemplary

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