The book of 3 John is a very personal letter sent from John to his friend Gaius. I am fascinated and grateful that this letter, written under inspiration by God. It is wonderful to have this letter for our edification and encouragement. Reading this “post card size epistle” gives us an inside look into how men like Gaius were viewed by John, and ultimately God, are viewed.
There is much to say about this man, his life, and the commendation he receives. I will not try to cover it all in one post. I would like to first draw attention to the bond of friendship between John and Gaius. I believe Gaius is given to us in the Bible as a model of someone involved in sending! He lived a life that brought joy to John and furthered the Gospel. His station in life was not one as a missionary. It may have been due to health (as alluded to in vs.2) or for others reasons. He was, however, involved in seeing the Gospel advanced through his involvement with the “brother and the stranger”.
The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. John 1:1
The first noteworthy aspect of his life is found in verse 1. The Word of God says that John called him the “well beloved” and John loved Gaius in the truth. John was the one who layed his head upon the chest of Christ. He had been called the “Beloved” by the Son of God. No one would be any more fond of that expression than John. This is a great indicator of us of John’s love and respect for Gaius.
Not only does the Scripture tell us John loves Gaius but it tells us that he loves him “in the truth”. There is not greater bond than the truth. There is no greater foundation for love than this – the truth. Gaius is the type of believer that establishes relations based upon what matters most in life.
I see, and I hope you do as well, some real clear applications for us involved in sending. We will see in later posts how Gaius is called a “Fellowhelper to the truth” and lived a life that furthered the Gospel. But today we see how he related to those who were going; John and others carrying the Gospel to places he would never see. His relationship to them was created and maintained in the truth!
When a missionary comes through the doors of your church you should decide before you meet their kids, find common hobbies, or learn anything about them personally that your love for the Gospel is enough of a bond for a friendship. You should fill the same way about those who sit in the seat beside you in church. You should love them in the truth! What the Gospel has put together let no man put asunder. That is the special relationship we have with fellow believers.
We will see many more things in the character profile of “Gaius the Sender” in the weeks to come. Today I urge you to look at what was his bases of relationships with co-laborers in the Gospel. You say you love your brothers. Do you do so in the truth – for the sake of Gospel advancement. Or is the bond that binds you made of something superficial and easily broken?