Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does what is good is of God; whoever does what is evil has never seen God. 3 John 1:11 NABRE
This third letter of John is written specifically to a person in the community named Gaius. He is writing to commend him on all the good he has done showing hospitality to the missionaries who have visited. John also addresses a problem with another in the community, Diotrephes, who is dominating, spreading evil and does not support the missionaries. John is suggesting he will come to the community and likely need to confront Diotrephes. John calls Gaius beloved. He tells him not to imitate evil but imitate good. John doesn’t want the wrong of Diotrephes to impact Gaius or the community. He tells Gaius keep up the good work, don’t be influenced. He goes on to say the one who does good sees God but the one doing evil never sees God. Through their work the children of God and the children of the evil one are made plain. Those who act in righteousness belong to God. John thinks to know God is to see God. Thus doing good is knowing God, good comes from God. Diotrephes by acting wrongly, shows he does not know God and is not acting as someone who has seen God.
The message from John in this passage is that when we are good we are seeing the God we know. If we want to see God we will do good, love others, care for others, put others first. All good is in relationship to the other. In the letter Diotrephes is not hospitable to the missionaries, he is not doing good to others and for John this means he does not know or see God. To be with God we must show our good through our service to others. It is the mission we enact from Jesus, love God and love others, this is good.
Can you tell who someone follows by their actions? What do your actions say about you?If we want to see God we will do good, love others, care for others, put others first. All good is in relationship to the other. Click To Tweet
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