3 John: Introduction, Argument, and Outline – It is probable that both 2 John and 3 John were written and sent out at the same time, due in large measure to the remarkable stylistic similarities – The letter is addressed to one Gaius – The Greek name-as well as the Greek names of Diotrephes and Demetrius mentioned in the letter-suggest that this letter was addressed to a Gentile Christian – He would have been a member in one of the churches of Asia Minor which John had adopted [overseen] as his own after the death of [the Apostle] Paul – **Theme: Show [continue to show] hospitality to the messengers of [Christianity] the truth
Occasion: Gaius had shown hospitality to itinerant preachers of the gospel, even though such men were strangers to him (vv. 5-7). A certain Diotrephes had apparently stopped the brothers from showing hospitality to these preachers and in fact had booted them out of the church (vv. 9-10). John had written to the church about Diotrephes, but he either did not allow the letter to get read publicly or repudiated John's authority. John is therefore sending Demetrius to the church (v. 12). He is apparently to stay with Gaius. 3 John functions as a cover letter for him. In understanding this occasion, two negative statements must be made: (1) The occasion for 3 John does not at all seem to be an issue of heresy, but one of pride. There is no real evidence that Diotrephes was a heretic. (2) Although some have suggested that Gaius belonged to another church,5 the simple statement in v. 9, "I wrote to the church," seems to indicate that the same church is in view. One of the issues rarely raised is why Diotrephes would dispute John's authority. One possibility is that he recognized the authority of no apostle. But another possibility is that he disputed John's authority. Perhaps-and this is only a suggestion-he had recognized Paul's authority, but no other apostle's. Thus, the problem would crop up after Paul's death.7 Too much could be made of this, of course, but in the least one ought to recognize that the apostles were not universally recognized and respected in their lifetimes. -- Theme: Show hospitality to the messengers of the truth. [link]
Basilica of St. John, Ephesus – The Basilica of St. John was a great church in Ephesus constructed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century [who reigned in Rome from 9 August 525 A.D. – 4 November 565 A.D. (40 years, 97 days) – Wiki.com] – It stands over the believed burial site of St. John, who is identified as the Apostle, Evangelist, author of the Fourth Gospel and prophet/author of the Book of Revelation (Photos)
Myth & Mystery: There was a St. John identified wih Ephesus since as early as the 1st century, who seems to have originally been the author of Revelation who was exiled on Patmos. By the second century this John was equated with John the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of John (presumed also to be the same person as John the Apostle, beloved disciple of Jesus). Legend had it that John wrote his gospel in Ephesus at the request of other disciples, then died in the church named for him on Ayasoluk Hill. Later legends developed that he was not really dead, but sleeping, and dust could even be seen moving above his grave as he breathed. -- The 13th-century Golden Legend narrates John's death as follows: According to Isidore, when John was 98 years old, that is, in the 67th year after the Lord's passion, the Lord appeared to him with his disciples and said: 'Come to me, my beloved: it is time for you to feast at my table with your brothers!' John rose and was about to go, when the Lord added: 'You will come to me on Sunday.' When Sunday arrived, all the people gathered in the church that had been built in his name, and John preached to them at cockcrow, exhorting them to be steadfast in the faith, and zealous in carrying out the commandments of God. Then he had them dig a square grave near the altar and throw the earth outside the church. He went down into the grave and, with arms outstretched to God, said: 'Lord Jesus Christ, you have called me to your feast: here I am, and I thank you for deigning to invite me to your table. You know that I have longed for you with all my heart!' When he had said this, he was surrounded by a light so brilliant that he was lost to human sight. Then, when the light faded, the grave was found to be full of manna. This manna is still produced there to this day, and it covers the floor of the grave, looking rather like the fine grains of sand at the bottom of a spring... History: St. John's grave was marked by a memorial and enclosed by a church of modest proportions in the 4th century. In the 6th century, Emperor Justinian (527-65 AD) believed that a tomb dating from the 300s was John's, so he built a magnificent church on the site dedicated to the saint. The traditional tomb of St. John, located under the main central dome, elevated the site to one of the most sacred sites in the Middle Ages and thousands made pilgrimage here. But with the decline in importance of Ephesus and after Arab raids, the basilica fell into ruins until the Seljuk Aydinoglu clan converted it into a mosque in 1330. The building was then completely destroyed in 1402 by Tamerlane's Mongol army. The ruined church was thereafter pillaged for building materials, but recent restoration enables visitors to understand its size and visualize its former splendor. [link]
3 John 1 – The Disciple John’s third and final epistle (letter) is to Gaius – Probably someone that John himself had personally led to the Lord Jesus Christ – Gaius had been kind, hospitable and giving to everyone however he apparently had been taken advantage of so much that he stopped [or lessened] his generosity and hospitality – The Disciple John wrote Gaius in order to encourage him to be careful but to continue to be generous and hospitable to others especially to those in the faith therefore keeping his faith pure and not to end up accidently having the same inhospitable conduct of Diotrephes a known deceiver — ‘3 John 1:1-4 The elder [Disciple John] unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, *even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the Truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the Truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth.’
The Bible's book of 3 John concludes: 3 John 1:5-14 Beloved, *thou doest faithfully whatsoever [hospitality] thou doest to the brethren, and to 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: Because that for His name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the Truth. I wrote unto the Church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 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. **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. 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. I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 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. and I hope straightway to see thee, and mouth to mouth we shall speak. Peace to thee! salute thee do the friends; be saluting the friends by name.