Supporting Workers of the Truth
Those who walk in the truth welcome and support workers of the truth.
2 and 3 John both state that they are written by “the elder.” The style and vocabulary of 3 John is similar to that of 1 and 2 John. This makes the apostle John the likely author of 3 John. The letter is addressed to Gaius and concerns the matter of offering hospitality and support to traveling Christian workers.
Literary Structure and Content
I. Opening Statement: The elder greets Gaius affectionately and prays that he would be in as good a
physical condition as he is spiritually (1-2).
A. The elder conveyed a spiritual fatherly affection for Gaius (1, cf. 4).
B. The elder conveyed a spiritual and physical concern for Gaius (2).
II. Commendation: The elder commends Gaius for his walk in the truth and his welcome and support of workers of
the truth (3-3-8).
A. The elder greatly rejoiced at reports of Gaius’s walk in the truth (3-4).
B. The elder commends Gaius for his welcome and support of workers of the truth (5-8).
III. Condemnation: The elder condemns Diotrephes for his improper treatment of workers of the truth (9-10).
A. The elder had written a letter to the church recommending the support of workers of the truth which
the domineering Diotrephes rejected (9).
B. The elder hopes to come and call attention to the deeds of Diotrephes which include his unjust accusations,
his refusal to receive the brethren, and his driving out of the church those who disagreed with him (10).
IV. Recommendation: The elder recommends the support of Demetrius (11-12).
A. The elder encourages the imitation of what is good which reflects that one is in harmony with God (11).
B. Demetrius had a good reputation and this letter serves as a letter of recommendation for him — he may
have been the bearer of this letter and a traveling worker of the truth (12).
V. Closing Statement: The elder hopes to make a personal visit soon to share much more, gives a blessing of
peace, conveys the greetings of the friends, and recommends the greeting of the friends by name (13-15).
Theological Reflection and Application
The church and its members have a responsibility to be fellow workers with the truth. This means practicing hospitality and when possible to support those who go out for the sake of the Name, that is Jesus. We are to encourage those who act faithfully and call out those who are self-seeking and domineering.