III Jn. 1-14
Even though not identified by name, this letter is agreed by most scholars to have been written by the apostle John. It was probably written about A. D. 90 from Ephesus soon after First and Second John. The purpose of writing was to commend and encourage Gaius in his Christian living. Paul had also received assistance and hospitality from a worker named Gaius more than thirty years earlier. This may have been the same man.
John’s greeting recognized the robust spiritual health of Gaius as he wished upon him the same measure of prosperity and bodily health. He was pleased of the good news that he had received about the work that Gaius was doing for Christ. His life was one of liberality, hospitality and good works as he aided others who were preaching the gospel. He showed his faith by his works.
In contrast, Diotrephes, a church leader was the subject of John’s condemnation for his attitude and lack of love for the brethren. John had sent a letter to the church earlier, but Diotrephes’ arrogance, pride and domination caused him to refuse them. He also expelled from the congregation those who had failed to bow to his demands. John planned to deal with him at a later date.
One should pattern his life from this statement. “Beloved do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” John recognized Demetrius as one who followed that rule.
The writer had other things in mind that he did not want to write, but planned to speak to Gaius face to face shortly after writing this letter. He closed by sending greetings from their friends in Ephesus to their friends in the church with Gaius.