3 John pt.1

The Underdogs: A Study of Jude, Philemon, Obadiah, 2nd + 3rd John

Hosted by Micah Harrison + Matt Winter w/ Special Guest Kristy Allen


  • What’s going on in Matt’s and Micah’s lives | 2:20
  • Background and the uniqueness of 3 John | 7:10 
  • The greeting and the importance of “unnecessary” words (1:1-4) | 10:20
  • Hospitality and short-term ministries (1:5-6) | 18:55
  • The reputation of Christ and application across time/culture (1:7-8) | 28:45
  • How to Study the Bible”:Why Every Word in Scripture is Important (or Papyrus as Prime Real Estate) | 47:00


1 | Hospitality

Hospitality is so much more than just being friendly and making some food. John emphasizes true “hospitality,” which including genuinely caring for someone because you share the mission of Christ. When you practice true hospitality, you join in the person’s ministry. In 3 John, it means supporting and providing for traveling missionaries and fellow believers.

2 | Application today

Applying something in the Bible today is not always a one-to-one crossover. In 3 John 1:7, John highlights that the believers did not accept any financial support from non-believers because it would hurt the reputation of Christ in that culture. In our culture, accepting financial support from an unbelievers may not have the same effect of damaging Christ’s reputation. Instead, we need to focus on the purpose of John’s application. The application principle here is not “don’t accept money from unbelievers,” but is “what is best for the reputation of Christ?”

3 | HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE:Why Every Word in Scripture is Important (or Papyrus as Prime Real Estate)

Papyrus was not cheap, so authors in the ancient world tended to be more concise than modern authors. So extra words, descriptions, and paragraphs held more weight (it was literally more expensive to write a longer letter). As a result, pay attention to seemingly unnecessary words and descriptions. The author clearly thought it was important enough to include.



Third John holds a unique place in the bible for a few reasons. First, it’s the shortest book of the Bible. Second, it’s a unique book in the New Testament because it is a personal letter that reflects ancient letters more than other books in the New Testament. John continues to focus on the intersection of truth and love, but now in the form of hospitality and ministry support. How do we apply John’s words today? Should we never accept help from an unbeliever, or does that application change today in a different time and culture? Our How to Read the Bible segment today is “Why Every Word in Scripture is Important.”


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