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Scripture’s hidden gems: 3 John

Scripture’s hidden gems: 3 John
3 John | Source: Shutterstock
Alan Hill
Alan Hill Pastor of Lausanne Free Church, Switzerland.
24 August, 2022 10 min read

In this series Alan Hill surveys some of the lesser-known books of Scripture.

The third letter of the apostle John is the shortest book in the Bible. It is only a few hundred words long, but God saw to it that it was included in the canon of Holy Scripture. Like a rare pearl washed up on a beach, this brief letter from 2,000 years ago may be small and easy to miss, but it remains precious and worthy of attention.

3 John is about two people who were very different spiritually. What kind of person are you? If someone who knows you well was to write a letter honestly explaining your character, what would it say? What if that letter was then made public, included in the world’s best-selling book and translated into hundreds of languages? What if we could read it out loud today?

This is exactly what has happened to two 1st-century churchgoers by the names of Gaius and Diotrephes. In 3 John we have an honest assessment of their characters and lives. One assessment is very positive, one is very negative. Gaius stands as a model of what a Christian should be; Diotrephes is an example of everything believers should not be.

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