Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Reading Through Third John

Letters WrightI am continuing through the general epistles in this year’s devotional read through of the New Testament, in the Third Letter of John, accompanied by The Early Christian Letters For Everyone by N.T. Wright. 3rd John emphasizes that faithfulness to the truth is seen practically in loving actions that promote the spread of the Gospel. I am posting from my reading in the New Testament accompanied by various commentaries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the book are in blue.

Again, John gets right to the point in this letter. Faithfulness is shown by daily practical actions based on God's truth. Gaius provides a good example by supporting the ministries of apostolic teachers and providing hospitality to God's people. Christian ministry should be supported from within the church, not from outside it. Those who support Christian ministry become partners in the ministry, share in its reward, show what they really believe by where they put their time, effort and resources.  

The cheerful courage and faith both of such first-century missionaries and of those who gave them hospitality (perhaps arousing suspicious questions from neighbours) ought to remind us that following Jesus is expected to be an adventure. New things will happen. New people will come into our lives, and even though they were strangers a moment before, suddenly we realize we are part of the same family (verse 5). 186, 3 John 1-8

In verse 8 John moves to the bad example of Diotrephes. False leaders reject the apostolic authority of the scriptures, abuse their authority, and reveal a lack of truthful living by their love of control and power and with their loveless words and actions. Instead, John urges that believers, especially leaders, must continue to love God's people, respect God's word and promote the Gospel despite the opposition of false leadership.

(3 John) speaks, as in the closing verse, of ‘peace’: not the easy peace that comes from ignoring the problems, but the deeper peace that comes from confronting them in the knowledge that truth and love are the two arms with which God in Jesus now enfolds both church and world in one embrace. 190, 3 John 9-15

No comments: