Verses 12–14

Here we have, I. The character of another person, one Demetrius, not much known otherwise. But here his name will live. A name in the gospel, a fame in the churches, is better than that of sons and daughters. His character was his commendation. His commendation was, 1. General: Demetrius has a good report of all men. Few are well spoken of by all; and sometimes it is ill to be so. But universal integrity and goodness are the way to (and sometimes obtain) universal applause. 2. Deserved and well founded: And of the truth itself, 3 John 1:12. Some have a good report, but not of the truth itself. Happy are those whose spirit and conduct commend them before God and men. 3. Confirmed by the apostle’s and his friends’ testimony: Yea, and we also bear record; and that with an appeal to Gaius’s own knowledge: And you (you and your friends) know that our record is true. Probably this Demetrius was known to the church where the apostle now resided, and to that where Gaius was. It is good to be well known, or known for good. We must be ready to bear our testimony to those who are good: it is well for those who are commended when those who commend them can appeal to the consciences of those who know them most.

II. The conclusion of the epistle, in which we may observe, 1. The referring of some things to personal interview: I have many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen, but I trust I shall shortly see thee, 3 John 1:13, 14. Many things may be more proper for immediate communication than for letter. A little personal conference may spare the time, trouble, and charge, of many letters; and good Christians may well be glad to see one another. 2. The benediction: Peace be to you; all felicity attend you. Those that are good and happy themselves wish others so too. 3. The public salutation sent to Gaius: Our friends salute thee. A friend to the propagation of religion deserves a common remembrance. And these pious persons show their friendship to religion as well as to Gaius. 4. The apostle’s particular salutation of the Christians in Gaius’s church or vicinity: Greet thy friends by name. I doubt they were not very many who must be so personally saluted. But we must learn humility as well as love. The lowest in the church of Christ should be greeted. And those may well salute and greet one another on earth who hope to live together in heaven. And the apostle who had lain in Christ’s bosom lays Christ’s friends in his heart.