3 John The Message (MSG)
1-4 The Pastor, to my good friend Gaius: How truly I love you! We’re the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul! I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth. Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!
Model the Good
5-8 Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible. They’ve made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love. It’s good work you’re doing, helping these travelers on their way, hospitality worthy of God himself! They set out under the banner of the Name, and get no help from unbelievers. So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.
9-10 Earlier I wrote something along this line to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel. If I come, you can be sure I’ll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumors about us.
As if that weren’t bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out.
11 Friend, don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God.
12 Everyone has a good word for Demetrius—the Truth itself stands up for Demetrius! We concur, and you know we don’t hand out endorsements lightly.
13-14 I have a lot more things to tell you, but I’d rather not use pen and ink. I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk.
Peace to you. The friends here say hello. Greet our friends there by name.
3 John Contemporary English Version (CEV)
1 From the church leader.[a]
To my dear friend Gaius.
I love you because we follow the truth, 2 dear friend, and I pray that all goes well for you. I hope that you are as strong in body, as I know you are in spirit. 3 It makes me very happy when the Lord’s followers come by and speak openly of how you obey the truth. 4 Nothing brings me greater happiness than to hear that my children[b] are obeying the truth.
5 Dear friend, you have always been faithful in helping other followers of the Lord, even the ones you didn’t know before. 6 They have told the church about your love. They say you were good enough to welcome them and to send them on their mission in a way that God’s servants deserve. 7 When they left to tell others about the Lord, they decided not to accept help from anyone who wasn’t a follower. 8 We must support people like them, so that we can take part in what they are doing to spread the truth.
9 I wrote to the church. But Diotrephes likes to be the number-one leader, and he won’t pay any attention to us. 10 So if I come, I will remind him of how he has been attacking us with gossip. Not only has he been doing this, but he refuses to welcome any of the Lord’s followers who come by. And when other church members want to welcome them, he puts them out of the church.
11 Dear friend, don’t copy the evil deeds of others! Follow the example of people who do kind deeds. They are God’s children, but those who are always doing evil have never seen God.
12 Everyone speaks well of Demetrius, and so does the true message that he teaches. I also speak well of him, and you know what I say is true.
13 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and then we can talk in person.
15 I pray that God will bless you with peace!
Your friends send their greetings. Please give a personal greeting to each of our friends.
3 John New Living Translation (NLT)
1 This letter is from John, the elder.[a]
I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 Some of the traveling teachers[b] recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.
Caring for the Lord’s Workers
5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord,[c] and they accept nothing from people who are not believers.[d] 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.
9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.
11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.[e]
12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth.
13 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink. 14 For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face.
15 [f]Peace be with you.
Your friends here send you their greetings. Please give my personal greetings to each of our friends there.