Peace be with you
I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink. For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face. Peace be with you. Your friends here send you their greetings. Please give my personal greetings to each of our friends there. 3 John 13-15 NLT
John closes the epistle expressing his excitement to see Gaius face to face and have fellowship with him as well as the church. Then, John gave his final greetings that includes a benediction “Peace be with you.” What an appropriate benediction for peace is obtained by having a right relationship with God. Peace is God’s gift to believers. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27). Peace is nothing more than the experience of God’s covenant blessing, protection, and provision in all its fullness. This is what is needed in the church since there was a threat coming from Diotrephes that could lead to a church division. But the peace of God is not just about having a strong bond among believers. It is also what sustains believers during times of difficulties and needs. “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6b-7). Finally, John tells Gaius to send his personal greetings to those who are in the church referring to them as his “friends.” Imagine the Sunday service their having when Gaius will stand in the middle of the fellowship and read the short letter from the beloved disciple and mentions to them that he is thinking of them. This says a great deal! Third John may be a short letter but the message is appropriate in what we are dealing with in our time. We are challenged to live lives pleasing to God. John reminded the believers that they can be like Gaius or Demetrius: selfless and committed in serving God by serving others. Or they can be like Diotrephes: selfish and always seeking to be first among others. It matters that we reflect God in our lives that when people think of us, they will be blessed. We are called to provide a positive influence to others. “Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).