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Exemplary Gaius

by Charles D. Beebe

Many of us pray often that God will raise up godly men to preach and teach in the be an example of Christ while here on earth. Men who will inspire and motivate us to truly grow, becoming greater servants for the Lord, 1 Pet. 2:2. Gaius was such a man as the apostle John stated in 3 John 1 and 4, "To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth...I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." The description, "the beloved", reveals the esteem in which Gaius was held by those who knew him. It brought much joy to the heart of the aged apostle to learn that Gaius' children walked in the truth. Oh, how our God desires His children to pattern themselves after the perfect example, Jesus Christ!

It would appear from the apostle's petition in verse 2 that Gaius' health was not good and that he was also not a prosperous man. Perhaps the health of his soul was better than either his physical or financial health. The faithful Gaius put first things first, Matt. 6:33, a lesson sorely needed among us today.

The apostle John commended the attitude and conduct of Gaius and other beloved members concerning his support of and assistance to the missionaries, verses 5-8.

In contrast to Gaius was the wicked Diotrephes who loved importance and preeminence among men. He was an ambitious, unscrupulous, church boss, opposed alike to apostolic authority and missionary work, a servant of Satan and an agent of the devil. Apparently, John had written a brief letter to the church in which Gaius held membership; perhaps it had been sent along by the missionaries which had come their way; but it had been suppressed and destroyed by Diotrephes, a man of prominence and leadership in the congregation, perhaps and elder or preacher. His conduct was insubordination of the most advanced type and the apostle promised to deal with him when he arrived.

The attitude of Gaius was such as was exhibited by Job, Job 2:1-6. In this shortest of all New Testament books, the great apostle John commended Gaius for his noble efforts in receiving faithful gospel preachers, furthering the cause of Christ, and encouraging him to continue in the great work.

How tragic that there are brethren who are more concerned about treasures on earth than treaures in Heaven, Matt. 6:19-21; 1 Tim. 6:10. Gaius is an outstanding example of what God desires for His children...his spiritual prosperity far outdistanced his desire for earthly possessions. What a great example to others as he walked in the light. "...if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin," 1 John 1:7.

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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