Welcoming Strangers

Scripture Lesson:

  • 3rd John


All through John’s letters, he has focused on two aspects of Christian life:
Teaching Truth and Practicing Love.

We have looked at balancing truth and love, and what that involves. In last weeks’s lesson on 2nd John, there was caution about welcoming strangers who might be teaching false doctrine. Third John is a counterbalance to that. John is encouraging the church to be welcoming and hospitable to traveling teachers and missionaries.

John uses two leaders at the church as examples: Gaius and Diotrephes.


Think of a time when you have experienced Christian hospitality in your life.

In the first six verses of 3rd John, what does the elder (John) praise Gaius for in verses 1-6?

In what specific ways in verses 5-8 has Gaius’ hospitality affected strangers?

According to verse 7, why is it so important that traveling missionaries get support from the church, rather than Gentiles or nonbelievers?

What does the elder (John) find wrong with Diotrephes’ behavior? (See verses 9-10.)

Examine the contrast between Gaius in the first 6 verses, and Diotrephes in verses 9 and 10.

Diotrephes’ failures aren’t doctrinal, but rather personal. How does verse 9 identify his problem?


How does strife in a local church damage the church’s practice of hospitality?

Demetrius was the bearer of the letter. What three-fold testimony does John give him in verse 12?

According to verses 13 and 14, John hopes to visit this church. What do you think he hopes to find?

John concludes in verse 15, “Peace to you.” Why is this benediction fitting to this church, or for any church?


Remember, as believers and a church, we are to practice love and hospitality. We are to always adhere to the truth of the Word.

This concludes our study of 1, 2, and 3 John.

I will post Advent related lessons for the next few weeks.

Please let me know if you have comments or questions. Thanks for following along.

- Pastor John

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