“The elder unto the wellbeloved 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.”
III John is a beautiful nugget that can be overlooked if we are not careful. Unlike most of the Bible it is a personal letter written from John the beloved disciple to a man named Gaius. We know very little about Gaius, when the letter was written or the area in which he lived. What we do know is John purposely wrote a letter to him and had important information he wanted to impart to Gaius. I am sure there are many letters written during the time of the writing of the New Testament, however, only a handful of personal letters became canon. This is striking and should cause us to take notice that this letter was written to a man not confirmed to be a staple in the early days of the church. He is not an apostle, a known follower of Christ or convert in the book of Acts. His story is a mystery other than the traits John shares in this encouraging letter to him.
So, what makes Gaius and this letter worthy to be part of our New Testament? Among all the other correspondences of that day there must be a reason this one stands out. I believe and always will that God has given us everything we need to know to begin a relationship with Christ and develop that relationship to one that pleases His and blesses us. That being said, the uniqueness of III John that I see is how easily each one of us can relates to Gaius. We may not be as faithful as he is documented to be, but he is just a common man that chose to do the right thing in honoring God, and it had an affect on those around him and even the apostle John took note.
It can be understood that if Gaius can get the attention of heaven, then we can also gain an audience by our obedience. It’s not a noble birth or position in society that will impress God but simply obeying Him in the day-to-day challenges of life. Writing a best seller novel or winning an award is not what brings notoriety in the presence of God but just listening to the Spirit and following His lead will always catch God’s attention. The Father is always pleased to know His children hear and obey Him.
This small letter is packed with attributes Gaius had that we would do well to strive for. His lifestyle made this letter worthy to be part of our Bible. Even though we will not have a personal letter written to us become part of God’s word we can still have the same impact that Gaius had. Just as Job was mentioned by God to Satan when He said, “have you considered my servant Job?”
Gaius was worthy of writing a letter to and Job was worthy of consideration between God and Satan because of their faithfulness. Are you worthy of attention because of your walk with God? Are you striving for a closeness with Him or acceptance from the world?
To be acknowledged in heaven we need surrendered hearts rather than worldly smarts. Strive each day to be sensitive to the Spirit of God and simply follow His direction and you will store up great treasure in heaven.