Having made this pastoral statement, John once more commends his brother for the hospitality he has shown “to the brethren, and to strangers.”  The brethren here I take to be the saints in the church where Gaius was, whom he treated with unfailing courtesy and Christian charity, giving of himself for their welfare in the true spirit of Christ.  While we could perhaps take the word “strangers” to indicate any passers by, indicating that Gaius had a general spirit of philanthropy towards all his fellow men, I think it better, particularly in light of the succeeding verse, to understand it of Christians from faraway places who came to the city and the church where Gaius was.  This gracious man received them with all hospitality, and showed the love of Christ towards them, even though he may never have laid eyes upon them before.  One does not have to be a lengthy acquaintance of his brethren in Christ to strike immediately a spark of fellowship with them.  Gaius needed only to know that they professed to love the Lord Jesus, and he would be unfailingly faithful to receive them into his home, and minister to their needs.

These brethren and strangers who had come across John’s path had borne witness of the faithfulness and generosity of Gaius, who was very forward to commend him for his charity.  Nevertheless, he admonishes him to continuance in well doing, because it will not do for a Christian to be charitable for awhile, only to become stingy and grasping later.  John, then, encourages him to bring forward his Christian brethren who journeyed through after a godly sort, an act which would be well pleasing in the sight of God.  It may be that John here refers to a delegation sent from him, who would pass through Gaius’ city, and deliver this letter to him, and is encouraging him to receive them, and assist them with whatsoever they might have need of in their journey.  There is probably enough evidence here to conclude that Gaius was a man of some means, else John certainly would not have demanded that he be impoverished while others were enriched.  John would have such believers to use the wealth that God had given them for the help of their brethren, be they there in their own assembly, or strangers who were passing through.

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