3 John 1
Matthew Poole's Commentary
The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
3Jo 1:1-4 The apostle, after a kind salutation to Gaius,

testifieth his joy in his piety,

3Jo 1:5-8 commending his hospitality towards the preachers of

the gospel.

3Jo 1:9,10 He censureth Diotrephes, and threateneth him for his

ambitious opposition.

3Jo 1:11 The ill example of such is not to be followed.

3Jo 1:12 He beareth testimony to the good character of Demetrius.

3Jo 1:13,14 He hopeth to see Gaius shortly, and concludeth with


Ver. 1,2. This Gaius was well known by the apostle, not only to be a stedfast professor of the truly Christian, uncorrupted faith, (which is implied in his avowing his love to him in the truth, or upon the Christian account), but to be so improved and well-grown a Christian, that he reckons he might well make the prosperous state of his soul the measure of all the other prosperity he could wish unto him.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
See Poole on "3Jo 1:1"

For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
Ver. 3,4. The truth is familiarly used to signify the pure doctrine of Christianity, which in its principal design aims at correspondent practice. That his children, i.e. such as had been converted to Christ by his ministry, {as 1 Corinthians 4:15} of whom it appears Gaius was one, did

walk in the truth; ( an apt expression of such correspondent practice); was greatest matter of joy to this holy apostle, especially when the godly lives of such, to whose conversion he had been instrumental, were so observable, as to gain them a testimony from all others that knew them, as it was in the present instance.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
See Poole on "3Jo 1:3"

Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
Charity to Christians is reckoned fidelity to Christ, being shown to them upon the Christian account, which is intimated to have been done by this pious person, who so kindly treated

the brethren, and strangers, i.e. even though they were strangers.

Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
After a godly sort; i.e. after a manner (as the Greek expression is) worthy of God, viz. as becomes them who bear the name of God, as thou dost, or are intent upon his work, as they are; which latter notion is confirmed by what follows.

Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
Ver. 7,8. They went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles; it thence appears these were Jews, who went out from their own country to serve the interest of the gospel, which therefore he should serve in helping them.

We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
See Poole on "3Jo 1:7"

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
Ver. 9,10. I wrote unto the church; this was probably some church of which Gaius was.

Diotrephes, one who had received or usurped some office or authority in it, to so ill a purpose, as when he had no inclination to be hospitable himself to fellow Christians, prevented others from being so; and upon pretence of the little differences of these Jewish from the Gentile Christians, excluded them their communion.

Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
See Poole on "3Jo 1:9"

Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
Follow not; Mh mimou by following here he means imitation, i.e. the deformity of evil appearing in the practice of some, and the beauty of true goodness in others, (examples being given of both sorts, 3Jo 1:9, and 3Jo 1:12), he exhorts to decline the former, and imitate the other; and enforces the exhortation by the weightiest arguments.

He that doeth good; a doer of good, one made up of kindness and benignity (as the contest draws the sense to that special kind of goodness); agayopoiwn and o kakopoiwn, signify doing well or ill, from a fixed, prevailing habit, 1Jo 3:7,8.

Is of God; is allied to heaven, born of God, his offspring.

But he that doeth evil hath not seen God; an evil-doer, on the other hand, such a one as is a composition of spite, envy, and malice, is a mere stranger to him, hath not been, or known, or had to do with him.

Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
Some eminent Christian, whom he could with confidence recommend as a pattern.

I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
Having much more to say, as 2Jo 1:12, he resolved on a more immediate, grateful, and effectual way of imparting and even impressing his sense, as the term, writing, is used in a greater latitude, Proverbs 3:3, and elsewhere.

But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
Speak face to face; otoma prov stoma, viz. by oral conference, which he hoped ere long to have opportunity for. He concludes with the usual Christian salutations.

Matthew Poole's Commentary

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