The Pastor, to my good friend Gaius: How truly I love you!
We're the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health - that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!
I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth.
Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!
Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.
They've made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love. It's good work you're doing, helping these travelers on their way, hospitality worthy of God himself!
They set out under the banner of the Name, and get no help from unbelievers.
So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.
Earlier I wrote something along this line to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel.
If I come, you can be sure I'll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumors about us. As if that weren't bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out.
Friend, don't go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God's work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn't know the first thing about God.
Everyone has a good word for Demetrius - the Truth itself stands up for Demetrius! We concur, and you know we don't hand out endorsements lightly.
I have a lot more things to tell you, but I'd rather not use pen and ink.
I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk. Peace to you. The friends here say hello. Greet our friends there by name.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)