This letter was written about the time of 2nd John.
3 John 1:1-2 The elder to the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
John loved Gaius, his brother in Yeshua and wanted him to prosper in all things, especially his health and spiritual walk.
3 John 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in You, even as you walk in the truth.
Rejoiced greatly for those walking in the truth of the Word and showing our love for our brothers, for those that believe in the loving kindness of a righteous man to the point of death for his friends, for those that believe in the power of the blood is sufficient. We give honor and glory to Yeshua our Messiah and deliverer from our sins. We think highly of Him and we believe in the virgin birth. We believe He rose from physical death. We believe and look forward to His return. We also conduct ourselves by walking in love for our brothers. We can tell those that are genuine and those are not genuine.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
It is a great joy to find those who are walking in the truth. His love is manifest through them.
My children - refers to spiritual children. Those whom John may have personally lead to Yeshua.
3 John 1:5 Beloved, You faithfully do whatsoever you do to the brethren, and to strangers;
Many have been deceived by false teachers and brothers but don’t let that stop us supporting others who follow the L-rd. Be sure they are true followers of Yeshua. Show a little discernment in whom you follow.
3 John 1:6 Which have borne witness of your charity before the church/synagogue: whom if you bring forward on their journey in a manner worthy of G-d, you will do well:
John had already said we are to not bid G-d speed to false teachers or open your home to them or support them in any way.
However, if you follow those who are in truth and who you have tested to be true you will do well. “Manner worthy of G-d” means of a pure motive.
We are to support those that are true messengers of Yeshua.
Yeshua talked about this in Matthew 10:40 He that receives you receives Me, and he that receives Me receives Him that sent Me.
Matthew 25:40-45 And the King shall answer and say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me. Then shall He say also to them on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was hungry, and you gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not. Then shall they also answer Him, saying, L-rd, when did we you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to you? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.
3 John 1:7 Because that for His name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
They went out for the “sake of His name.” They did not do it for their own glory. They also did not receive any money from the Gentiles. True believers only supported them.
3 John 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow helpers to the truth.
Receive the true brothers that we might help the cause of truth.
The epistle of 2nd John stressed not helping false teachers because we would be as guilty as they were in promoting their false teaching. Here in 3rd John we learn that we when we support true messengers of Yeshua we are a part of their ministry too and will be rewarded for it.
3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence (first in importance) among them, receives us not.
Diotrephes must have rejected John’s authority. Many today reject Sha’ul. (Paul’s) authority also. Diotrephes was self-centered, and looking to glorify himself. We tell others in Yeshua the truth according to the word but many believers in Yeshua don’t receive us because of pride or self-glorification. His actions directly contradicted what Yeshua taught. Yeshua taught who is the greatest: the one who is our servant. If we deny John’s or Sha’ul.’s authority we are denying the revelation of G-d that comes through these men. Pride came in the way of what G-d has to say and pride in men try to change the rule of Yeshua through John or Sha’ul. Diotrephes actions where not gentle or loving. Many actions of those today is also not gentle or loving as Yeshua was or as He commanded us to be.
3 John 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither does he himself receive the brothers (In Yeshua), and forbids them that would, and casts them out of the church/synagogue.
Diotrephes would answer for his behavior.
He did four things:
3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of G-d: but he that does evil has not seen G-d.
Diotrephes actions proved he was never a true believer. Many actions of those in the past proves these people where never genuine true believers.
3 John 1:12 Demetrius has good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and you know that our record is true.
Demetrius actions fit what he said. He followed G-d’s word and his behavior matched these words.
3 John 1:13-14 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write to you: But I trust I will shortly see you, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to you. Our friends salute you. Greet the friends by name.