Tuesday 7 July 2020
Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, 3 John -5
John now moves from comments about his own personal happiness concerning Gaius to a commendation and exhortation of his actions. He begins this by saying once again, “Beloved.” It is the third of four times that he uses the term in this short letter, stressing the truly loving feeling that John held for Gaius.
John next says, “you do faithfully whatever you do.” The Greek is an adjective, not an adverb, and so it more rightly says, “you do a faithful thing, whatever you do.” The product of his labors results in that which is appropriate within the boundaries of the faith. And that product is the result of what he had been doing “for the brethren and for strangers.”
There are some differences in manuscripts here which alter the reading a bit, but the sense of the words is that Gaius was being a faithful servant towards those around him, both toward the brethren within the congregation, and also to any strangers who had come along as well. He was always ready to extend himself for others in a most charitable manner.
It should be noted that in this verse, the two uses of “you do” were translated from two different words. As said, he is faithfully accomplishing the tasks, but the second word shows that he is diligently, even unceasingly laboring for these people. Together, these words sum up the entire scope of his faithful and welcoming ministry. To show a distinction between the two, it would be appropriate to say, “you do faithfully whatever you have worked at.”
Life application: Gaius was working in this manner for people he knew and for those he didn’t know. The “strangers” are more than likely traveling evangelists or missionaries, just like we have even today. Gaius was apparently opening his home to them and giving them all the assistance they needed so that they could save their money for places which weren’t as accommodating.
Just like today, if we travel, we will find that hotels and restaurants cost money. But if there are people willing to take us in during our travels, the bed is always more comfortable – even if it is a lumpy mattress. The food is always better – even if it is simple and not so tasty. And, and the friendship is always exceptional in comparison to a place we check in to where everyone is a stranger. A hospitable person or family is always the preferred option. This is a lesson for all of us.
If we have room and the ability to open our doors to those passing through, we should do so. The world has never been a safe place, but we can demonstrate faithfulness in opening our doors and trusting that we are doing a service that will long be remembered. When done in the name of Jesus, we truly are blessing the soul of another.
Thank You, Lord, for those who are willing to open their doors to us as we travel the highways and byways of life. May You bless them in all ways for their faithful and kind service to those they often don’t even know. And thank You for putting this on their hearts as we know all good blessings truly come from You. Amen.