The Third Epistle of John is a very brief personal letter of only fifteen verses written from “the elder” (Greek presbyteros, meaning “senior” or “elder”) to “the well-beloved Gaius,” a friend of the writer and a leader of an unnamed church. Gaius is praised for his strong faith and for his example of welcoming strangers at his church, particularly the hospitality shown to a traveling group of Christians who were sharing the good news in the region. A certain church leader named Diotrephes is mentioned (verse 9) as someone who has been the opposite: inhospitable, unduly restrictive, unfaithful, and disdainful of the writer. A certain Demetrius, by contrast, is named as someone who holds to the true faith and sets the right example (verse 12).
Greetings (1-4)
Praise for Gaius' Welcoming Hospitality (5-8)
The Unhelpful Example of Diotrephes (9,10)
The Helpful Model of Demetrius (11,12)
Final Greetings and Peace (13,14)