Doing what is pleasing to God
Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 3 John 5-6 NLT
During the early church in the first century, a stranger was viewed as a potential threat to the community. There were no amenities like hotels and motels during that time. Because of this, strangers had no good standing by custom or law. This is why a credible person is needed to vouch for them. Letters of recommendation were important in such a culture. So, when a letter of recommendation is provided, refusal to accept such letter was equivalent to rejecting and dishonoring the one who recommended him. From the text, John is referring to these “strangers” as Christian brothers who deserved to be treated in a Christian manner. This is why John is commending Gaius because he was not like those who did not show hospitality to these faithful teachers of the gospel. And when these Christian brothers gave public testimony to the church about how the community of believers had helped them, John was joyful. What Gaius and the body of believers did for these traveling teachers was valuable not only for themselves but also for the Christian community. John told these believers that their action proved that they “are being faithful to God.” Honoring John’s recommendation also showed that they have a “loving friendship” with him. John encouraged Gaius and the church to continue their act of kindness to these teachers of the gospel by providing them supplies as they head out to their next destination. And when they do this, John says that they are “providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.” God commends as well in our actions when we help those who are ministering God’s Word. We give, we help, and we serve because of our love for God. “Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB). Let us continue to bless others as God calls and leads us. “So then, while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10).