The Book of 3rd John
Study and Commentary
James Deering, AncientPath.net
THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics) (alternate text in purple)
3 John :5
you are acting faithfully
in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and
especially when they are strangers; and
3 John :6
they bear witness to your love before the church; and
you will do well to send them on their way
in a manner worthy of God.
3 john :7
they went out
for the sake of the Name,
accepting nothing from the Gentiles.
3 John :8
we ought to support such men,
we may be fellow workers with the truth.
The Christianís duty is to show hospitality to visitors, especially those who bring forth the Gospel. John commends Gaius for his faithful actions. He enumerates these actions as accomplishments "for the brethren," and puts special emphasis upon acting in behalf of those who come as strangers.
It only seems appropriate that one from the local church should be the recipient of love and kindness from other members of the local church, but John goes on to say that the love and caring that comes from a stranger in the form of teaching the Word of God is of very special heart. Traveling ministers, missionaries, and lay teachers are responding to the Love and Grace of God. Those who minister the Gospel, in the Name of Jesus, to those they do not even know are worthy of their support and much blessing.
Gaiusí kindness was a known example to others. Those who came and reported to John did so by sharing their experiences with Gaius. They told John of his love for "The Body of Christ," the church. Their message to John told of Gaiusí remarkable gifts of hospitality. Where would these missionaries, preachers, and teachers be if no one found it in their heart to share of their food, clothing, expenses, directions, and contacts (early form of networking).
John tells us here that these missionaries, preachers and teachers were motivated by their love of the "Name" (The Name of Jesus). They went out on their own not requiring anything of the churches that they visited. Most of these churches were made up of Gentiles. They would not be experienced with "proper protocols" for the care and feeding of missionaries. Much of their efforts were spent in preaching the Word to the unsaved Gentiles of a community in order to bring them into the local church as believers. It would betray the love of God to require an income from the objects of their intentions (the Gentiles) ... "for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son."
John makes it clear, "Therefore, we ought to support such men." Where there is a "therefore" find out what it is there for (C.E. Mason). In this case it points back to the preceding verse that speaks of these missionaries, preachers, and teachers doing their work at their own expense - for the sake of the Name of Jesus.
Please notice that John is not placing the emphasis on Gaius, or the support that he gave them. The emphasis here is on the importance of these traveling ministers and the work that they do and the manner in which they do it, preaching in the Name of Jesus. John says we ought to support them so that we may share (be fellow workers) with what they are doing.
cp: Mat 10:7-10
"And as you go, preach, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you received, freely give. Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.
cp: 2 Sam 9:1-11
(a reflection of Godís kindness) Then David said, "Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathanís sake?" Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they....................
3 John is the only book of the New Testament in which Jesus is not called by name. The term, "for the sake of the Name," has its origins in the hidden name of God known only as YHWH, in Hebrew it has five consonants (The Tetra-Gramation) and the vowels were never pronounced so that the Holy name of God would never be soiled by human lips. Over the years the vowels were lost forever and the Hebrew name of God that we now call Jehovah is made up of the consonants of YHWH and the vowels of Adonai, another name of God (Lord). The exact pronunciation of this wonderful name of God is not known.
In this verse the reference of that name is directly related to Jesus Christ. When something is done for His nameís sake, it is done for Him.
Showing hospitality in this way to those who bring the truth is to "cooperate" with the truth. "He who receives a prophet, in the name of a prophet, deserves a prophetís reward." Matthew 10:41