Scripture: 3 John 5,6b, ‘Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you… You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.’
Observations: We don’t know exactly what Gaius is ‘doing for the brothers,’ but whatever it is John commends him for it. We can guess that he is welcoming them into his home and encouraging them, and showing them the love of Christ. John says he is being ‘faithful’ in what he is doing. The amazing thing about Gaius is he is doing these things to people who are complete strangers. John encourages him to ‘send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.’ This word translated ‘worthy’ is only used 5 other times in the New Testament. Paul asks the Christians in Rome ‘to receive Phoebe in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need. (Rom 16:2)’ Later Paul urges the Christians in Ephesus ‘to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Eph 4:1)’ And the Christians in Philippi to ‘conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Phil 1:27)’ And he prays for the Christians in Colosse ‘that [they] may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way. (Col 1:10)’ And finally he urges the Christians in Thessalonica ‘to live lives worthy of God. (1 Thess 2:12)’ Basically, to do something worthy of the Lord is to honour him, or please him, to do what God would do, or to do to others what God has done for us. John is telling Gaius to send the brothers on the way as God would. He is to encourage them, and equip them, and provide for them, and remind them of God’s love in Jesus Christ and his power and presence through the Holy Spirit.
Application: Firstly, do you welcome your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ into your home, even if they are complete strangers? Are you a hospitable person? Secondly, do they leave your home encouraged and strengthened in their faith? Do you give them whatever help they may need? Do you send them on their way in a manner worthy of God? Next time someone enters your house don’t let them leave until you have asked them how you can encourage them, and until you have prayed for them.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, just as You welcomed me into Your family, may I also welcome others into my family. And just as You send me out into the world changed by Your love and grace, may people also leave my home changed by the love of Christ that I have shown them. Help me to be generous with the resources that You have given me. Help me be generous with the love that You have shown me in Christ. Help me to encourage others as You have encouraged me. Help me to send people on their way in a way that honours You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.