We work with Jesus. Who is this Jesus with whom we work? He is the one who took Peter, James, and John to the mountain with him. While Jesus was with Peter, James, and John, Jesus’ appearance changed right before their eyes. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
While Peter, James, and John were watching these proceedings, Moses and Elijah were there on the mountaintop! Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus! Peter fumbles with his words, saying they could build dwellings for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Then a cloud overwhelmed the group. A voice from the cloud said: “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”
This is the Jesus with whom we work. This is the Jesus with whom we are co-workers. Jesus even told Peter, James, and John to not be afraid. As we are working for Jesus, alongside Jesus, we need not be afraid. John the apostle, whom we think wrote 3 John, is not afraid. He continued to encourage the church to love one another. Why did John encourage us so much? For it is by love that we may become co-workers with the truth. This is what John is encouraging Gaius to be, a co-worker with the truth.
A. Opening (v. 1-4)
1. The Elder loves Gaius in truth
2. The Elder prays for Gaius to have good health and that things would be well with Gaius’ soul
3. The Elder is overjoyed that people speak of well Gaius is walking in the truth
4. We bring joy to the Elder, and the rest of the cloud of witnesses, as we are walking in the truth.
5. We could speak so well of other Christians! When we love one another in truth, then we encourage each other. We want not only the best for each other, but it is by love that we may become co-workers with the truth. This loving one another is not a onetime event.
B. Body (v. 5-12)
1. Keep being hospitable to the friends (other Christians who travel through)
2. This fact is being made known by the church
3. Your love is being known – you show this love by sending them on their way in a manner worthy of God
4. We are to take care of Christians who are co-workers with the truth
5. Yet, there are some like Diotrephes
a. Puts himself first (his preferences)
b. Does not acknowledge the authority of the church’s leaders
c. Spreads false charges against God’s people
d. Refuses to welcome the friends (other Christians)
e. Prevents others in the church from welcoming the friends
6. Thankfully, there are some like Demetrius!
a. Is this the Demetrius from Acts 19? Has he been worshiping God and loving Jesus?
b. God transfigures many people, so not why Demetrius of Ephesus?
c. The Elder and the church testify to Demetrius’ love for other believers
7. For it is by love that we may become co-workers with the truth. As I am loving Jesus and other Christians, I hope I am not like Diotrephes. I want to be following Jesus like Demetrius. Then in the truth the church can be an encouragement, because I have been an encouragement to other Christians. I hope we all want to be like Demetrius as we love one another.
C. Closing (v. 13-15)
1. There is much the Elder could have written to Gaius
2. But it is better for the Elder to be face to face with Gaius
3. At least the Elder can express hope for peace for Gaius, and the other believers
4. How can we love one another in truth? By speaking each other’s name to each other. For we not only love the Christians who come to be with us for a time. We love the Christians who are among us for all of our days. For it is by love that we may become co-workers with the truth. I’m sure Jesus knows the names of those who are his co-workers.
Yes, Jesus was transfigured on the mountain. Peter, James, and John witnessed this event. They were co-workers with the truth.
John the Elder saw God transfigure many lives over the next several decades. One of them might have been Demetrius of Ephesus. Whether this is the same Demetrius or not, this man in 3 John loved other Christians. I hope we all want to be like Demetrius as we love one another.
As we receive Holy Communion this morning, if we have lived like Diotrephes, then let us confess this to God. When we love one another, we may become co-workers with the truth. If we remain like Diotrephes, then won’t be co-workers with the truth. We know how much God loves us. It is up to us to decide how we want to be, like Diotrephes or Demetrius. May other Christians have peace because of our decision to love one another and be co-workers with Jesus!