Co-workers in the harvest
For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 3 John 7-8 NLT
John from the text continues to provide reasons why supporting and showing hospitality to missionaries is important. They have been serving the Lord preaching the gospel. Moreover, these teachers had not taken or received any support from unbelievers in the process. Those who do not believe the gospel are under no obligation to support Christian missions, but we Christians are! That’s why John says in verse 8 that “we should support them.” The missionaries did not want to hinder the work of the gospel of Christ by accepting from those “who are not believers.” They knew that if they accepted help from them, they would leave themselves open to the charge that they preached for financial gains. “If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:12). John encourages the believers to be in continual obligation to support the missionaries. When we render this kind of support, we become “their partners as they teach the truth.” In obedience to Jesus Christ, they left home and family to go to other regions. They knew that if Jesus sent them forth, He is undeniably would provide for their needs. We may not be able to travel to foreign lands to carry the gospel, but when we support those who do with our prayers, our finances, and our encouragement we become fellow laborers with them in the gospel. Gaius opened his heart to these missionaries as well as the body of believers. Gaius shared his home and his hand to fellow Christian teachers, and we should do the same.