Last week, we covered the important message in John's second letter concerning how Christians ought to live a distinctive life of love. This week, we'll look at his third letter, which asks its readers to consider three different types of believers as we answer the following question: do I accurately reflect Christ?
The commendable believer
The first believer we learn about in Third John is Gaius, John's dear friend. The word John uses to describe his affection toward Gaius is "agape." This is the closest level of unconditional love. John commends Gaius for supporting missionaries in their call to spread the gospel, saying that Gaius supports "the truth."
One of the ways that we reflect Christ is to actively participate in spreading his truth. We ought to selflessly welcome and support those whose calling takes them away from home and hearth as they spread the gospel, even as we also spread Christ's truth in our own spheres of influence.
The condemnable believer
By contrast with Gaius, John speaks of Diotrophes. Diotrophes not only doesn't welcome missionaries, but he spreads rumours about other believers and hinders the gospel in the process. And why does Diotrophes do such things? Because he "loves to be first." In his pride, Diotrophes places himself above fellow believers and above Christ.
What about us? Do we let our pride hinder the gospel? Let's strive to accurately reflect Christ by putting God, others, and the truth ahead of our own agendas.
The consistent believer
Finally, John writes of Demetrius, the consistent believer. Demetrius has a solid reputation and testimony for Christ. His reputation is so great that John says even "the truth itself" testifies to Demetrius's life. Demetrius sets an example for us, because he reflects Christ so well, that when we look at his life, we see a testament to the gospel. And this testament comes not through flashy, extravagant acts, but through daily faithfulness.
We, too, can reflect Christ through the small, consistent acts of faithfulness throughout our lives.
As we close on Second and Third John, let us consider how we can reflect Christ more accurately through a life of love that consistently upholds Christ's truth.