3 John 1.5-8 – Truth in Hospitality

After introducing his letter to Gaius as being about the individual truth that we need to profess, possess, and witness, John now gives three examples; good, bad, and good. Today, the first good.

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

It appears that Gaius had been showing hospitality for these brothers, and was sending them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.

Even in the very early days of the church, it seems that there were travelling teachers, evangelists, and missionaries. These brothers had evidently been cared for by Gaius, then had told John about the hospitality they received (v.6a). 

David Guzik writes on this,

The reward for these support people is the same as those who are out on the front lines. 1 Samuel 30:21-25 shows this principle, where the spoils are distributed equally among those who fought and those who supported. King David understood that the supply lines were just as vital as the soldiers, and God would reward both soldiers and supporters properly and generously.

John says that these travelling teachers accepted no help from the general population, so the burden for their support should be met by fellow believers (vv.7-8).

Showing hospitality is an important thing to God (1 Peter 4.8-09, Titus 1.8, Luke 14.12-14, Matthew 25.42-46). It might not seem like the most exciting or glamorous of services to the Lord, but it’s something that we are commanded to do.

The good example Gaius gives here is that we are to care for those who are ministering to others.

Simply then, if all are called to minister in some way, shape, or form (Colossians 3.23-24), then all of us are called to show hospitality to somebody, somewhere, at sometime. 


Point to ponder – Who can I show hospitality to today?


Prayer – Father, we know that oftentimes hospitality is not high on our list of ways we think we can serve you. We thank you for your Word, and the encouragement and exhortation it contains towards hospitality. Show us today who we can serve and minister to, for your glory. Amen. 

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