Summary: sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email


(1). A Comparison with 2 John.

(2). An Overview of 3 John.

• (a). The encouragement of Gaius (vs 1-8)

• (b). The criticism of Diotrephes (vs 9-10)

• (c). The testimony of Demetrius (vs 11-12)

(3). A Final Postscript (vs 13-14):


Now a little useless information:

• 3 John is the shortest book of the Bible,

• Just 219 words long in its original Greek language.

(1). A Comparison with 2 John.


• Both 2 John and 3 John focuses on the basic issue of hospitality.

• But they come from, different angles.

• While 2 John warns against showing hospitality to false teachers.

• 3 John condemns the lack of hospitality shown to faithful teachers of God’s word.


• 2 John was written to a lady and her children,

• 3 John is written to a man and his acquaintances.


• The problem John addressed in his second letter.

• Was a lady entertaining the wrong kind of travellers, visitors.

• The problem in 3 John.

• Is a man who refused to entertain the right kind of travellers, visitors.


• In 2 John hospitality is misplaced.

• In 3 John hospitality is missing completely.


• It’s kind of ironic that in 2 John a lady said yes, to a person she should have said no too.

• In 3 John a man said no, to a person she should have said yes too.


• The message of 2 John is:

• Truth was needed to bring love back into balance.

• The message of 3 John is:

• Love was needed to bring truth back into balance.


• In 2 John no personal names are mentioned.

• In 3 John a number of specific names are mentioned.

• i.e. Gaius (vs 1-8), Diotrephes (vs 9-10), Demetrius (vs 11-12)

(2). An Overview of 3 John.

• An outline of this letter naturally forms around the three men that are mentioned:

• First in verses 1-8 we meet Gaius.

• Second in verses 9-10 we meet Diotrephes.

• Third in verses 11-12 we meet Demetrius.

(a). The encouragement of Gaius (vs 1-8)

• As you scan the letter it becomes clear that Gaius and John were good buddies.

• You only have to read the letter and you see the affectionate way he refers to him.

• i.e. verse 1: “To my dear friend” or “Beloved Gaius”.

• i.e. verse 2: “Dear friend” or “Beloved Gaius”.

• i.e. verse 5: “Dear friend” or “Beloved Gaius”.

• i.e. verse 11: “Dear friend” or “Beloved Gaius”.

Note: We don’t know for sure who this particular Gaius was:

• We don’t know for sure who this particular Gaius was:

• We do know that there are there are three people called Gaius.

• Who get a name check in the New Testament?

• (a). Gaius the Macedonian – he is mentioned in Acts chapter 19.

• (b). Gaius of Derbe – he is mentioned in Acts chapter 20.

• (c). Gaius of Corinth – he actually gets a double mention.

• In 1 Corinthian’s chapter 1verse 4 and Romans chapter 16 verse 23.

• (d). Of course, it might have been someone completely different.

• ill: The name Gaius was as popular in the Roman empire.

• As the names Andrew or Richard are today.


• The Romans at this time in history had a list of 18 names that they usually choose from.

• Gaius was the name last on that list!

• TRANSITION: Now although we cannot tell with certainty who this Gaius was,

• We do know a number of things about him.


• Those words “You may enjoy good health”,

• Suggest that Gaius may not have been a well man.

• In most New Testament greetings & prayers the focus is on spiritual health, not physical.

• So that mention of physical health would suggest he was or had been an unwell man.


• “...even as your soul is getting along well”.

• Gaius may have failed his physical medical.

• But he ‘passed with flying colours’ his spiritual check up!

• It is amazing how many Christian folk who suffer very poor physical health,

• Enjoy very good spiritual health!


• Physical health is the result of nutrition, exercise, cleanliness, proper rest,

• And the disciplined order of a balanced life.

• Spiritual health is the result of similar factors.

• We must cultivate a good diet (feed ourselves with the Word of God).

• Then ‘work out’ that knowledge should lead to service, ministry for the Lord.

• We need also to rest, to allow the body to recover and refresh itself,

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