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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Christianity's "Other World" Feel

One of its trademarks.

3 John 1–8

The Elder,

To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

Unlike 2 John, this letter is addressed to an individual—Gaius. John gives Gaius a message of encouragement that should thrill us all.

This letter makes Gaius one of the most famous people in history. He’s in the ultimate hall of fame—commended by name in scripture. But for what? Was he martyred? Did he lead many people to faith? Was he a great preacher? What incredible work did he do?

Hospitality. Gaius rendered faithful service for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. This is significant because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.

Wow. Gaius was something like the head of the missions committee. He hosted and supported traveling evangelists. That’s nice and all that, but this passage elevates this service to a level of honor we don’t normally think of for something so unspectacular.

And that’s the takeaway. Gaius’s calling was very local and very humble. Yet in the kingdom of heaven, he’s one of the greats.

We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.


Christianity’s rejection of society’s pecking orders is a big part of what gives it an “other world” feel.

The apostles invented one of the church’s highest offices (deacon) for the purpose of waiting on tables—a humble task for sure.

And women were the first witnesses of the resurrection, despite that culture’s rejection of the validity of women’s testimony.

The kingdom of heaven isn’t like earthly kingdoms. It shouldn’t be.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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