Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church,
&c.] At Ephesus, where John was; these brethren and strangers coming thither, and being greatly affected with Gaius's kindness and liberality to them, could not forbear speaking of it to his praise, in the presence of the members of the church, as well as acquainted the Apostle John with it; the Syriac version reads, "before the whole church"; they bore testimony of his liberality in a very public manner And this the apostle mentions to encourage Gaius to go on, and continue in his kindness to the same persons, since they retained such a grateful sense of past favours; and whereas they were now returning back, he desires that he would give them some further assistance:
whom if thou bring forward on their journey;
the word here used signifies, to send on before, as in ( Acts 15:3 ) ( 20:38 ) ( 21:5 ) ( Romans 15:24 ) ( 1 Corinthians 16:6 1 Corinthians 16:11 ) ( 2 Corinthians 1:16 ) ( Titus 3:13 ) , and is used by the Septuagint in the same sense as here, and in the above places, in ( Genesis 18:16 ) ; where it is said, that "Abraham went with them (the angels) to bring them on in the way", (Mxlvl) , "to send them on", or "send them away"; dismiss them, take his leave of them in a friendly and honourable way. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan render it, (Nwhyawwlal) , "to accompany them"; and so this Greek word, which seems to answer to the Hebrew phrase, signifies an honourable accompanying, leading forth, and taking leave of friends; and so the apostle encourages Gaius to behave in like manner to the brethren and strangers; meaning, either by accompanying them in person, or by sending his servants along with them, both to direct them the way, and to secure them from danger, and chiefly by furnishing them with everything necessary for them; see ( Titus 3:13 ) . And this he would have him do,
after a godly sort;
or "worthy of God"; in imitation of God, who is merciful, kind, and beneficent; or as it became him whom God had called by his grace to his kingdom and glory; or as it was fit and proper such servants of God, as those brethren were, should be used; and this would be doing well:
thou shalt do well;
what is grateful and well pleasing to God, and beautiful and lovely in the eyes of his people.