“THE ELDER, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth….”
John asserts his authority as an “elder” because of a conflict with Diotrephes discussed later in the chapter. He has a special prerogative as an apostle.
To the beloved Gaius,
John expresses warm affection for Gaius. Gaius was “beloved” because he was well loved. John calls Gaius “beloved” four times in this short epistle (3 Jn 1,2,5,11).
Gaius’ identity is difficult to determine. His name was common in his time (Ac 19:29; 20:4; Ro 16:23). It is not known whether he was an official in the church in Asia Minor or not.
whom I love in truth
John again demonstrates his concern for the relationship between love and truth. The word “I” is emphatic. John always operates within the sphere of truth as a principle of life.
Ti 3:15, “All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.”
Christians should love each other within the sphere of the integrity of truth.
It is wonderful to be loved by someone. To feel cherished and wanted is a sense of being valued. Some children go bad because they do not feel wanted by anyone.
God loves us and expresses His love toward us. He knows how to express love, as well. Some of us do not know how to show it or express it. If God loves us and knows how to express it, the household of faith should love each other and express it clearly. This is more than loving others in appearance but loving them in faith.
2 Th 2:13, “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth….”
1 Jn 3:1-2, 1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
We live in a sophisticated time when no one will admit to loving anyone. Each goes his own way. He is independent; he needs no one. He does not have time for anyone else other than his own family. Everyone else can drop dead for all he cares. All he cares about are inanimate objects. He could care less for people. He does not care if they live or die. All this will come home to roost in its own coin. If we show no interest in others, they will not show interest in us.
Ro 16:5, 8-9, 12, 5 “Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ…. 8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved…. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.”
1 Co 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Php 4:1, “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.”