GodSpeak: Winter 2019 – “Fumble!”

GodSpeak for the Week of February 3



We continue this Sunday with our ongoing “Missed Links” sermon series.  Our focus for this Super Bowl Sunday is on an entire book of the New Testament – 3 John (the shortest book in the Bible), where we consider the epic “fumble” this man named Diotrephes made in terms of his faith.


Day 1…Read 3 John 1-2

  • Consider this – the book of 3 John is so short, it doesn’t even feature chapters (it’s only referenced by verses).
  • Consider this – the man named “Gaius” who John addresses the letter to is unknown to history (i.e., we don’t have any real clues as to his identity).
    • Presumably, Gaius was wealthy enough to support several congregations, along with the missionaries John was sending to bring the Gospel.
      • But, beyond that presumption, nothing is known of Gaius.
    • Answer this – while Gaius was well-known to John and the folks around the congregations he helped support, how do you think Gaius may have felt if he’d known his identity would be a mystery/his works forgotten and unknown some 2,000 years later?
      • Is it important that people remember you after you pass away?
      • Whose remembering of us after we die is most important?

 Day 2…Read 3 John 3-4

  • Consider this – these days, people will talk about how important it is that they have “their truth” (i.e., their opinions about things shouldn’t be critiqued by others, because no one has a right to tell that person their opinions are right or wrong).
  • Consider this – John says to Gaius in v. 3: “…some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth…”
    • Translated from the Greek in which it was originally written, John is saying: “…some believers came and testified about your truth of walking in THE truth…”
  • Answer this – how is Gaius’ personal truth DIFFERENT from the way we understand it when people refer to “their truth” these days? (i.e., it IS Gaius’ “truth” after all!)

Day 3…Read 3 John 5-8

  • Consider this – 3 John is the only book in the New Testament which doesn’t ever mention “Jesus” or “Christ.”
    • Yet, in no way, is the Lord’s guidance and presence avoided!
  • Answer this – where and how in these verses does John specifically refer to Jesus Christ?
    • Why would he use this method of referring to Christ versus just calling Him “Jesus” or “Christ”?

Day 4…Read 3 John 8

  • Consider this – here we discover the heart of John’s purpose and occasion for writing Gaius.
    • Offering hospitality (i.e., providing food, shelter, fraternity) to those missionaries John has sent to the area to bring the Gospel is KEY and Godly.
  • Answer this – how do we these days (and why is it still important) that we show hospitality to those bringing the Gospel to others?

Day 5…Read 3 John 9-10

  • Consider this – here’s where the “fumble” in today’s lesson occurs.
  • Consider this – Diotrephes (which means: “nourished by Jove” [same as the Roman god, Jupiter – who was believed to be the god of thunder]) has NOT extended hospitality to those John has sent to share the Gospel.
    • In fact, Diotrephes has maliciously spread false gossip about these folks;
    • …and, he’s even gone so far as to “expel” (literally, kick them out) of the local congregation!
  • Answer this – how is Diotrephes living up to the name of the false Roman god who is his namesake?
    • How is Diotrephes NOT living up to the Name he’s been called to (and, claims to) follow?

Day 6…Read 3 John 11-14

  • Consider this – contrary to Diotrephes, there’s a man named Demetrius (Greek = “belonging to Demeter” [the Greek goddess of agriculture]) – and he is “well spoken of by everyone – and even by the truth itself.”)
  • Answer this – how is Demetrius living out what John notes as imitating “good” versus “evil”?
    • How do John’s words in this short book inform and influence our faith practice?
  • Answer this – in the “truth” John speaks of throughout the book, who does Demetrius REALLY BELONG to?

Leave a Comment