Dealing With The Problem of Hospitality

A pastor had a farmer friend in his congregation and they were talking over the fence one day. The pastor asked the farmer, “Abe, if you had one hundred horses, would you give me fifty?” Abe said, “Certainly.” The pastor asked, “If you had one hundred cow … More


This letter talks about having an attitude of generosityand dealing with the problem of hospitality and specifically to those who are refusing to give it to brothers in Christ. The bond of affection between John and Gaius is based on the truth of God’s Word (v. 1). Gaius was evidently an outstanding spiritual man. John prays that he will prosper both physically and spiritually (v. 2). Through other  brothers in Christ, John had heard that Gaius was living a lifestyle that was consistent with God’s Word (vv. 3-4).

John commends Gaius for his generosity (vv. 5-8). Many Bible scholars think the statement, “bring forward on their journey,” (v. 5) constituted an expression in those days that meant he also promised to help Christian workers financially in their work as well as providing hospitality. This is certainly consistent with I Corinthians 9:7-14 that states that those who have given themselves exclusively to the Lord’s work had a right to live by the means of the gospel they proclaim.

Generosity is a lost art among many Christians today. We would do well to look for neighbors who are disabled or elderly and mow their lawn, or do some repair work for them. Because of our individualistic, self-centered society there are many lonely people who wonder if anyone cares. 


It is my desire to known as a person who is generous. This involves being a person who encourages and gives opportunity for others to be creative and develop their gifts and abilities for the Lord.

III John 1:1-8 (English Standard Version)

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More III John commentaries

III John 1:1-8
Dealing With The Problem of Hospitality

III John 1:9-15
Practice Hospitality Ungrudgingly