3 John: A Teacher’s Greatest Joy

Nothing gives me greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (v.4)

Third John is addressed from the “Elder” again to a man named “Gaius” in an unnamed church.  Gaius represents a contingent in this church, unlike the power-monger Diotrephes, who look to John as their teacher and spiritual father.  As he approaches the end of this life, John wants more than anything to know that his “children” are being faithful to all he has taught them and all he has worked for.

As a high school teacher of Bible, I have been known from time to time to call my students my “kids.”  They kind of are.  I spend more time with them than my own!  And by the end of any year, I really end up caring a great deal about my students.  They are funny and I love the laughs.  They are thoughtful and kind, and one positive affirmation of what we do in class can keep me going for months.  I love to see them struggle with an abstract philosophical or theological idea until they understand it and can apply it to their own lives.  But my greatest joy is when we meet up a few years after graduation and it is clear they are “walking in the truth.”  That makes the long hours, endless grading, hard conferences, and discipling disappointments all worth it in the end.

What did you notice anew in Third John?

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Categories: 3 John | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “3 John: A Teacher’s Greatest Joy

  1. susan rubio

    Truly. Absolutely nothing gives a teacher greater joy than knowing this one thing, Jason. Thank you for your daily faithfulness; can’t believe it’s October and 3 John.

  2. Absolutely! One of my greatest joys was to see 3 of my former students go into the mission field while in, and just after, college. One girl went to Argentina for a year. I’ve been so blessed through my students!

  3. Melanie

    I’m a couple of days late on this one. I noticed John’s words about hospitality–about being hospitable to fellow Christians, but also to strangers. I ran across this quote from Francis Chan (Crazy Love): “I believe God wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them.” John says that by providing a bed and a meal, we make faith visible.

    • Better late than never! Great quote. And you have made this little book so tangible. Faith is done, not just believed. Thanks

  4. “Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.”

    I like that last phrase about making faith visible. That is what counts. Faith in the head and heart is a good thing. It can guide us through some hard things. It can help us avoid some hard things. But even better is when our faith becomes tangible and causes action.

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