The Message

3 John

1-4 The Pastor, to my good friend Gaius: How truly I love you! We’re the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul! I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth. Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!

Model the Good

5-8 Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible. They’ve made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love. It’s good work you’re doing, helping these travelers on their way, hospitality worthy of God himself! They set out under the banner of the Name, and get no help from unbelievers. So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.

9-10 Earlier I wrote something along this line to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel. If I come, you can be sure I’ll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumors about us.

As if that weren’t bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out.

11 Friend, don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God.

12 Everyone has a good word for Demetrius—the Truth itself stands up for Demetrius! We concur, and you know we don’t hand out endorsements lightly.

13-14 I have a lot more things to tell you, but I’d rather not use pen and ink. I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk.

Peace to you. The friends here say hello. Greet our friends there by name.

New International Reader's Version

3 John

I, the elder, am writing this letter.

I am sending it to you, my dear friend Gaius. I love you because of the truth.

Dear friend, I know that your spiritual life is going well. I pray that you also may enjoy good health. And I pray that everything else may go well with you. Some believers came to me and told me that you are faithful to the truth. They told me that you continue to live by it. This news gave me great joy. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are living by the truth.

Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters. You are faithful even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please help them by sending them on their way in a manner that honors God. They started on their journey to serve Jesus Christ. They didn’t receive any help from those who aren’t believers. So we should welcome people like them. We should work together with them for the truth.

I wrote to the church. But Diotrephes will not welcome us. He loves to be the first in everything. 10 So when I come, I will point out what he is doing. He is saying evil things that aren’t true about us. Even this doesn’t satisfy him. So he refuses to welcome other believers. He also keeps others from welcoming them. In fact, he throws them out of the church.

11 Dear friend, don’t be like those who do evil. Be like those who do good. Anyone who does what is good belongs to God. Anyone who does what is evil hasn’t really seen or known God. 12 Everyone says good things about Demetrius. He lives in keeping with the truth. We also say good things about him. And you know that what we say is true.

13 I have a lot to write to you. But I don’t want to write with pen and ink. 14 I hope I can see you soon. Then we can talk face to face.

May you have peace.

The friends here send their greetings. Greet each one of the friends there.