“The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.”
1. To whom does John, the elder, address this letter? (1) What do verses 1-3 tell us about John's relationship to Gaius?
2. From a Biblical point of view, what does it mean that he addresses Gaius as a dear friend? (1,2,5,11) (Think about some Biblical examples of friendship--Isa 41:8b [Ge 18:10,20-21,24; 22:2-8,23]; 1Sa 18:1-3; 20:42; 23:17; 2Sa 1:26,27; Jn 15:13-14) Why is friendship among men (or among women) so important?
3. What was John's prayer topic for Gaius and the brethren in his church? (2-3) Why is it important to pray for spiritual well-being as well as physical well-being?
4. Why does it give John joy to hear about Gaius' faithfulness to the truth and that his children were walking in the truth? (3-4) How do you define faithfulness? (Rev 2:10; Heb 13:8; Phil 1:8-11)
5. Read verses 5-8. How was Gaius apparently serving the brothers? Why did John commend him? Why is it important to be hospitable? (Ge 18:1-10; 19:1-2) By contrast, why was Diotrephes rebuked? In what ways was he a bad influence?
6. Why was Demetrius spoken well of? (11-12) Why did John cut his letter short? What did he say in the final greetings? (13-14) What can we learn from this letter about the relationship between truth and hospitality? Truth and friendship?