This study features notes from Enduring Word.
1. What do you notice about the way John introduces himself?
He identifies himself simply as the Elder. Presumably the first readers knew who this was and perhaps he doesn’t directly refer to himself for the same reason he doesn’t in 2 John – the threat of persecution might have made it unwise (and unnecessary).
2. From this introduction, what do we learn about how John views Gaius?
He is faithful.
3. How does John praise Gaius?
He praises him for his hospitality.
4. What does John highlight about Gaius’ attitude (when asked to do something)?
He does it faithfully. Whatever God has asked us to do, we should do it faithfully.
5. How does this help explain why John prays for the prosperity of Gaius?
He used his resources in a godly way, being a blessing to others. If God blessed him with more, others would be blessed more also.
6. Why does John say to take nothing from the Gentiles?
The ancient world of the early church was filled with the missionaries and preachers of various religions, and they often supported themselves by taking offerings from the general public. Instead of soliciting funds from the general public they were to look to the support of fellow Christians.
7. How does John rebuke Diotrephes?
By name. In rebuking him by name, he didn’t act outside of love. He followed the command of Scriptures (Romans 16:17) and the example of other apostles (2 Timothy 4:14-15).
8. What was the problem Diotrephes had? What does it lead to?
Pride. It ultimately leads to destruction.
9. How does this compare with Gaius?
Gaius walked in truth and offered humble hospitality.
10. What point is John making with these two examples?
Follow the good, for we serve a good God and those who follow Him will likewise do good.
11. How is Demetrius also a good example?
John recommended this man to Gaius. Perhaps he was the one who carried the letter from John to Gaius, and John wanted Gaius to know that Demetrius was worthy of Christian hospitality. Demetrius was so faithful to the truth that even the truth was a witness on his behalf.
12. How does John finish? What does John remind Gaius about?
In addition to a familiar blessing of peace upon Gaius, John also reminded him (and us) of the common ties of Christians – even if they are separated by miles, they are still friends in Jesus, and appropriately they should greet one another.
13. How can we ensure we follow good examples today?
Walk in truth, live out God’s commands faithfully. Show humble hospitality, follow those who do good.