3 John 1

Observe here, 1. The penman and writer of this epistle, St. John, who wrote the two former, as appears by agreement of them in words and phrases, which are peculiar to this apostle; he styles himself not an apostle, though he was so, but an elder: that word being a name of honour and dignity belonging to the chief of their tribes, agrees very well with the office of the apostles, set over the twelve tribes of the house of Israel.

Observe, 2. The person to whom this epistle is directed, Gaius: we find three persons of this name in the New Testament, to wit, Gaius of Macedonia, Acts 19:29; Gaius of Derbe, Acts 20:4; and Gaius of Corinth, Rom 16:23 whom St. Paul calls his host, and of the whole church, who being eminent for his hospitality, especially to the ministers who went out to preach the gospel among the Gentiles, taking nothing of them; this man seems to be the person who had the honour of an epistle sent to him from the pen of an eminent apostle; such as do excel in their kindness to the faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, have oft-times in this life some special marks of honour and respect put upon them by God, as a token of his gracious acceptance of them.

Observe, 3. The interest which Gaius had in St. John's affections, he styles him the well beloved Gaius; and shows also what was the motive and attractive of that his love, namely, the truth, that is, the gospel of Christ, called eminently the truth; he loved Gaius in the truth, that is, in great sincerity, and for the truth, for his sincere professing and practising the doctrine of the gospel. The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth: such as love the truth are and ought to be the special objects of our love.

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