Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

3 John 1:4

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Hospitality;   Zeal, Religious;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Missionary Work by Ministers;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gaius;   Truth;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Walk;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Diotrephes;   Gaius;   John the Apostle;   John, the Epistles of;   Timothy, the First Epistle to;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Love;   Truth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Brotherly Love;   Diotrephes;   Excommunication;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Joy;   Walk (2);   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - John the Baptist;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

To hear that my children - From this it has been inferred that Caius was one of St. John's converts, and consequently not the Corinthian Caius, who was converted, most probably, by St. Paul. But the apostle might use the term children here as implying those who were immediately under his pastoral care, and, being an old man, he had a right to use such terms in addressing his juniors both in age and grace; and there is much both of propriety and dignity in the appellation coming from such a person.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/3-john-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth - That they adhere steadfastly to the truth, and that they live in accordance with it. This is such language as would be used by an aged apostle when speaking of those who had been converted by his instrumentality, and who looked up to him as a father; and we may, therefore, infer that Gaius had been converted under the ministry of John, and that he was probably a much younger man than he was. John, the aged apostle, says that he had no higher happiness than to learn, respecting those who regarded him as their spiritual father, that they were steadfast in their adherence to the doctrines of religion. The same thing may be:

(a) of all the ministers of the gospel, that their highest comfort is found in the fact that those to whom they minister, whether still under their care or removed from them, persevere in a steadfast attachment to the true doctrines of religion, and live accordingly; and,

(b) of all Christian parents respecting their own children. the highest joy that a Christian parent can have is to know that his children, whether at home or abroad, adhere to the truths of religion, and live in accordance with the requirements of the gospel of Christ.

If a child wished to confer the highest possible happiness upon his parents when with them, it would be by becoming a decided Christian; if, when abroad, in foreign lands or his own, he wished to convey intelligence to them that would most thrill their hearts with joy, it would be to announce to them that he had given his heart to God. There is no joy in a family like that when children are converted; there is no news that comes from abroad that diffuses so much happiness through the domestic circle as the intelligence that a child is truly converted to the Saviour. There is nothing that would give more peace to the dying pillow of the Christian parent, than to be able to leave the world with the assurance that his children would always walk in truth.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/3-john-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

3 John 1:4

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

The Christian walking in the truth

This is little more than a repetition of a declaration made by the apostle in the foregoing epistle. He is addressing there a pious mother, and he congratulates her on the spiritual prosperity of some of her family. Here he is addressing a beloved friend, and he congratulates him on the prosperity of his soul in nearly the same words.

I. truth. “What is truth?” said Pilate to our Lord with a mixture of incredulity and scorn, as though truth were a thing nowhere to be discovered; and the same question has been asked by the wise men of the earth with the same feelings from Pilate downwards to our day. The real Christian knows where it is to be found, for he has found it. His God has not only made him feel its importance and enkindled in him a desire for it, he has shown him the thing itself, revealed, communicated His truth to him: so that the man has it; has it in his hand whenever he takes up his Bible; has it in his mind and heart, for he has read his Bible, and by God’s help has understood and believed it. That is the truth the apostle speaks of in this text. It is the revelation which God has made to us concerning spiritual and eternal things in His holy Word, and more particularly the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which forms so main a part of that revelation.

II. Walking in it. The term “walking” in Scripture, when used as it is here, is always expressive, not of an act or two, but of a continued course of acting. To walk in the truth, then, means more than for a man once in his life to discover and embrace the truth; it implies besides this a daily familiarity with it, having it constantly before his mind, and his mind and his life being as constantly influenced and acted on by it.

1. That we hold fast Christ’s truth; having had our minds enlightened to discover and opened to receive it, that we retain it in our mind, and this in its pure, simple, unadulterated form.

2. A continued profession of Christ’s truth.

3. To live in the habitual practice of it.

III. This apostle’s joy when he hears of his fellow-Christians thus walking. He expresses this, you observe, in very strong terms. He does not say that he has no joy equal to this, but he does say that he has none above it: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” And this strong language plainly shows us two things.

1. The loftiness of his own character. This favoured, this honoured apostle, with all his remembrances of the past and all his glowing anticipations of the future, with heaven almost opening upon him, says he gets as much happiness from the holy walk of others as he does from any other source. We know where he learnt this. We see the Master’s spirit shining forth again in the disciple. What was self to the blessed Jesus when the good of our lost souls was at stake?

2. The high importance of this holy walking in the truth. Such a man, we are sure, would never have rejoiced in a trifle.

(a) It is the best test we can have of our belonging to Christ, of the sincerity and reality of our faith in Him.

(b) Our enjoyment of the gospel, our spiritual comfort and happiness, depends on it.

(c) Our sanctification or holiness depends altogether on the permanency of the place Christ’s truth has within us.

The Christian minister’s joy

I. To walk in truth implies--

1. Sincerity of principle, honesty of intention, in opposition to all dissimulation or guile.

2. Decided attachment to evangelical doctrine.

3. Habitual regard to personal holiness.

4. Progress in Christian excellency.

II. Why this walking in truth should occasion the joy of Christian ministers.

1. In your Christian walk we witness the reality of your personal religion.

2. Walking as Christians secures your personal happiness.

3. When you walk as Christians, we have evidence of ministerial fidelity--that the truth is spoken to you; that the way of truth is marked down and recommended.

4. In your walk as Christians, we observe the fruit of our efforts for your good.

5. When you walk as Christians, we behold the increase of the Redeemer’s cause in the world.

6. Walking as Christians, we see in you the partners of the felicity we hope for in a future world.

Conclusion--

1. If such as “walk in truth” are our joy, it is evident who are our grief--All they who walk not in truth; who “walk in darkness”; who “walk disorderly”; who “walk in the flesh”; who “walk after their own ungodly lusts.”

2. By your walking, not in truth, but in unrighteousness, the cause of God is dishonoured, his enemies triumph, his friends are painfully affected.

3. Let us all look well to ourselves, and take heed to our own spirit and conversation. (T. Kidd.)

Walk in truth

I. The subject matter of the apostolic ministry--it was truth; not only truth in the bare sense of the term, but truth in its highest sense, unmistakable truth, infallible truth, the truth without which we cannot be happy neither here nor hereafter. You may be without much knowledge in reference to geology, or astronomy, or botany, you may be without much knowledge of these things, and not suffer much; but in reference to this, if you have it not, you are a fool indeed, and if you have it, you are made wise unto salvation. It is necessary, for us while here, and for our well-being hereafter.

II. The manner of that ministry. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” I say that the apostle’s ministry was characterised by great earnestness and affection. There is no minister that will ever be useful without it.

III. The joy and satisfaction of the apostle’s ministry. The subject-matter of this joy of the apostle’s was to hear that his children walk in truth.

1. To walk in the truth is to maintain evangelical truth.

2. To walk in truth is constantly to keep and to enjoy the truth. It gives us solid peace, it is “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”

3. Once more, when spiritual children walk in truth they are consistent Christians. Walk is not the position of a lazy Christian. (H. Allen, M. A.)

The parent’s and pastor’s joy

I. First, then, one of the parent’s highest joys is his children’s walking in truth: he has no greater joy.

1. And here we must begin with the remark that it is a joy peculiar to Christian fathers and mothers. No parents can say from their hearts, “We have no greater joy than to hear that our children walk in truth,” unless they are themselves walking in truth. No wolf prays for its offspring to become a sheep.

2. Let us, then, remark next that the joy mentioned in the text is special in its object. “I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children walk in truth.” There is the point, their practical religion, their actual exemplification of the power of the gospel upon their lives. This proves that the teaching was well received, that the feeling was not mere excitement, that the profession was not a falsehood or a mistake, but was done in truth.

3. It is a healthful joy, in which we may indulge to the full without the slightest fear, for it is superior in its character to all earthly joys. Now, when our children walk in truth and love to God, it makes us rejoice that another heart is consecrated to His service. We may well rejoice in the salvation and in the sanctification of our sons and daughters, because this is the way in which the kingdom of Christ is to be extended in the world.

4. I will tell you why this is peculiarly the great joy of some Christian parents--it is because they have made it a subject of importunate prayer. That which comes to us by the gate of prayer comes into the house with music and dancing.

5. This joy is quickening in its effect. All who have ever felt it know what an energy it puts into them. Have you some of your children converted while others remain unsaved? Then I charge you, let what the Lord has done for some encourage you concerning the rest.

6. Once more, this high joy of which we have spoken is very solemn in its surroundings, for it involves this alternative--“What if my children should not walk in truth?” Well, that means for us during this life many sorrows, nights of sleeplessness and days of anxiety.

II. You may view the text as specifying the pastor’s greatest reward. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” No minister ought to be at rest unless he sees that his ministry does bring forth fruit, and men and women are born unto God by the preaching of the Word. Those who are the preacher’s children are often known to him; they were to John, else he could not have spoken of them as “my children,” and could not have had joy in them as his children. From this I draw the inference that it is the duty of every one who receives spiritual benefit, and especially conversion, from any of God’s servants, to let them know it. Put on Christ publicly in baptism, according to His command: unite yourself with His Church, and commune with the people among whom you have been born unto God. It seems from our text that John was in the habit of hearing about his spiritual children: “I have no greater joy than to hear”--mark that--“than to hear that my children walk in the truth.” That implies that, if you make a profession of your faith, people will talk about you. John could not have heard if others had not spoken. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A minister’s chief joy

I. What is the great object of a minister’s desire on behalf of his people.

1. He longs to behold in them a holy consistency, a high state of heavenly affections, and a careful attention to the duties of morality.

2. In them he expects to find a steadiness that bids defiance to temptation, and cannot be diverted from its purpose, either by the allurements of sense or the terrors of persecution.

3. As a parent wishes to see in his children a gradual advancement towards maturity both in their bodily and intellectual faculties, so does a minister long for his people’s progress towards perfection.

II. Whence it is that the attainment of that object fills him with such exalted joy.

1. Because it is by this only that the ends of their ministry are answered.

2. Because by this only can God be glorified.

3. Because without this they can have no hope of ever meeting their people in the realms of bliss. (Sketches of Sermons.)

The minister’s greater joy

I. The highest spiritual relationship--“my children.”

1. Solicitude.

2. Endearment.

II. The greatest possible rejoicing.

1. It is the greater joy arising out of the greater subject. Man’s salvation is God’s greater work.

2. It is the greater joy on account of the greater influence. The converts were exposed to sharp temptations, and subjected to fiery persecutions.

3. It is the greater joy on account of the greater prospect. (T. Davies, M. A.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "3 John 1:4". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/3-john-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Greater joy have I none than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

Greater joy have I none ... The word "greater" here, in the Greek is, "a double comparative as betterer would be in English."[13] Paul frequently used such expressions, as in Ephesians 3:8; and Shakespeare has, "How much more elder art thou than thy looks!"[14]

My children walking in the truth ... Some have surmised from this that John had converted Gaius, but "this is not certain."[15] After all, John's writing as "the elder" to congregations and persons over whom he had spiritual oversight was fully justified in this usage, whether or not he had converted all of his charges.

Walking in truth ... What does this mean? See under 3 John 1:1:3. Bruce gave the following definition of it:

"The truth" is Christianity to its fullness; when one who professes allegiance to Christianity lives a life in conformity with his profession, then he does not merely pay lip-service to the truth but "walks in the truth." In effect, walking in the truth is the same things as walking in the light (1 John 1:7).[16]

[13] J. R. Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1937), p. 1062.

[14] William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, IV, 1.

[15] Amos N. Wilder, op. cit., p. 309.

[16] F. F. Bruce, Answers to Questions (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972), p. 134.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/3-john-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have no greater joy,.... Nothing that causes greater joy. The Vulgate Latin version reads "grace" or "thanks"; and then the sense is, that he had nothing to be more thankful for:

than to hear that my children walk in truth; meaning his spiritual children, those whose conversion he had been the instrument of; and among these it seems Gaius was one.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/3-john-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I have no greater joy than a to hear that my children walk in truth.

(a) Than these joys.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/3-john-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

my children — members of the Church: confirming the view that the “elect lady” is a Church.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/3-john-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Greater (μειζοτερανmeizoteran). A double comparative with τερος̇teros added to μειζωνmeizōn like our “lesser” and like μαλλον κρεισσονmallon kreisson (more better) in Philemon 1:23. In Ephesians 3:8 we have ελαχιστοτερωιelachistoterōi a comparative on a superlative. Like forms occur in the vernacular papyri and even in Homer (χειροτεροςcheiroteros more worse) as also in Shakespeare.

Joy (χαρανcharan). B reads χαρινcharin (grace).

Than this (τουτωνtoutōn). Ablative neuter plural after the comparative.

To hear of (ινα ακουωhina akouō). Object clause (epexegetic) with ιναhina and ακουωakouō the present active subjunctive (keep on hearing of) in apposition with τουτωνtoutōn in truth (εν αλητειαι περιπατουνταen alētheiāi peripatounta). As in 2 John 1:4, which see. By the use of τεκναtekna John may mean that Gaius is one of his converts (1 Timothy 1:1).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/3-john-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Joy ( χαρὰν )

The texts vary; some reading χάριν graceor favor from God, on which see 2 John 1:3. Note the Greek order: greater joy than this have I not.

My children ( τὰ ἐμὰ τέκνα )

Lit., mine own children.

Walk ( περιπατοῦντα )

Rev., rightly, walking. The participle expresses something habitual.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/3-john-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

I have no greater joy than this — Such is the spirit of every true Christian pastor.

To hear that my children walk in the truth — Caius probably was converted by St. Paul. Therefore when St. John speaks of him. with other believers, as his children, it may be considered as the tender style of paternal love, whoever were the instruments of their conversion. And his using this appellation, when writing under the character of the elder, has its peculiar beauty.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/3-john-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Ver. 4. I have no greater joy] {See Trapp on "2 John 1:4"}

Walk in truth] Not walk to the alehouse, walk about with tales to shed blood, walk after the flesh, as too many of our hearers do, to our singular heartbreak.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/3-john-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

3 John 1:4. To hear that my children There is no occasion to understand hereby that they were all St. John's own converts: (see 1 John 2:1) he had styled himself the elder; there was therefore a beauty in his calling all those his children, who were under his apostolic care, or paternal inspection; and he rejoiced like a tender father over a wise son. The apostle seems to have alluded to Proverbs 10:1 with which compare Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 19:13. Baxter's note on this verse is, "True ministers rejoice more for the welfare of men's souls, than in preferments, wealth, or worldly honour."

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/3-john-1.html. 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2471

A MINISTER’S CHIEF JOY

3 John 1:4. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

THERE subsists between a minister and his people a relation which may not unfitly be compared with that of a father and his children. The metaphorical expression of a father is more strictly applicable to those whom a minister “has begotten through the Gospel [Note: 1 Corinthians 4:15.]:” but it needs not to be restricted to this sense: it may be used with greater latitude in reference to those over whom a minister watches, and for whose benefit he labours, with parental anxiety, especially where the person to whom the paternal relation is ascribed is somewhat advanced in years. It should seem that Gaius, to whom St. John wrote this epistle, was converted to the faith by the ministry of Paul [Note: 1 Corinthians 1:14.]: yet St. John properly includes him amongst his children, because he felt the same regard for him as for those who were the more immediate seals of his own ministry; the whole body of his people being in his different epistles frequently designated by that favourite appellation [Note: 1 John 2:1; 1 John 3:18.].

Respecting the state of Gaius’ soul, the Apostle had heard the most satisfactory account; so that he could not shew his anxiety for the bodily health of Gaius more strongly, than by wishing it to prosper in every respect [Note: περὶ πάντων, ver. 2.], “even as his soul prospered.” Having declared the joy which this information had afforded him, he states, in general, that he had no greater joy than what arose from such tidings as these.

From hence we shall take occasion to shew,

1. What is the great object of a minister’s desire in behalf of, his people—

To bring men to the acknowledgment of the truth is the first labour of a minister: and, till that has been effected, no other relation exists between him and them than that which he has by nature, or that which he has in common with all mankind. But when they have embraced the truth, and are become members of the family of Christ, then the minister seeks their advancement in the divine life—

[Christianity, as experienced in the soul, is not a sentiment, but a habit: it not merely informs the mind, but regulates the life: and, whilst it introduces “men from darkness unto light, it turns them also from the power of Satan unto God.” Having brought souls to an enjoyment of Christ, and to a conformity to his mind and will, the minister desires to see them walk in the truth,]

1. Consistently—

[He longs to behold in them a holy consistency; a high state of heavenly affections, and a careful attention to the duties of morality. Morality however will not satisfy him if detached from fellowship with God: nor will the most sublime intercourse with God in prayer and praise approve itself to him, if it be not accompanied with a conscientious discharge of every personal and relative duty — — —]

2. Steadily—

[In them he expects to find a steadiness that bids defiance to temptation, and cannot be diverted from its purpose, either by the allurements of sense or the terrors of persecution: he would have his converts to be “steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:58.].” A fixedness of mind he regards as absolutely essential to the Christian character; and he is never satisfied with the state of his people unless he find that, in the midst of the severest persecutions, they are enabled to say, “None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto me, so that I may but finish my course with joy” — — —]

3. Progressively—

[This is implied in the term “walking,” which is a progressive motion necessary to the Christian life. There is no possibility of standing still in religion. Our motion, if not progressive, must be retrograde. Now, as a parent wishes to see in his children a gradual advancement towards maturity both in their bodily and intellectual faculties, so does a minister long for his people’s progress towards perfection. He hopes to see in them a more entire devotedness of heart unto their God and Saviour; evincing itself in a greater spirituality of mind, an increasing indifference to the things of time and sense, and a more laborious engagement in every good work — — — In a word, he wishes to see their progress like that of the sun in the firmament, “their path shining brighter and brighter unto the perfect day [Note: Proverbs 4:18.].”]

The emotions with which St. John beheld this conduct in Gaius were most sublime: and such they will be in every faithful minister; as will appear, whilst we shew,

II. Whence it is that the attainment of that object fills him with such exalted joy—

St. John was not inferior to any one of the Apostles in holy joy. He had been pre-eminently favoured by his Lord and Saviour, insomuch that he was known by the name of “the Disciple whom Jesus loved.” He had beheld his Lord transfigured on Mount Tabor, and shining forth in all the glory of the Godhead. He had lain in the bosom of his Lord, as on many other occasions, so especially on that evening, when the commemorative ordinance of the Lord’s supper was instituted: yet even “he had no greater joy than to hear that his children walked in truth.” Much more therefore may we expect that ministers, less favoured than he, should have no joy more exalted than that which the sight or hearing of their people’s prosperity affords them. This is their sublimest source of happiness;

1. Because it is by this only that the ends of their ministry are answered—

[If the minister impart to his children “the sincere milk of the word,” it is, “that they may grow thereby:” or, if he set before them “the stronger meat” of the Gospel, it is, that those who are able to receive it may be the more nourished and strengthened for their future labours. If he see no growth in them, “he stands in doubt” whether they have ever been truly and savingly converted to the faith of Christ; and “he travails, as it were, a second time in birth with them, until Christ be fully and visibly formed in them [Note: Galatians 4:19-20.].” But when he beholds the plants, which he is daily watering, thriving, and diffusing all around the fragrancy of holy and devout affections, he sees of the travail of his soul and is satisfied: and what the angels enjoyed at the first symptoms of their conversion, he enjoys from day to day: his very life is bound up in their welfare; and “he then lives, when they stand fast in the Lord [Note: 1 Thessalonians 3:8.].”]

2. Because by this only can God be glorified—

[Nothing brings more dishonour to God than an inconsistent conduct in those who profess godliness. The very name of God is often blasphemed through the misconduct of those who call themselves his peculiar people. The ungodly world are not content with condemning the offending individual; “they speak evil of the way of truth” itself, as though that countenanced and even produced the evils that have been committed. On the other hand, “the person who brings forth much fruit glorifies God,” and “by his well-doing puts to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” To a minister who loves the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and is jealous for the honour of his name, nothing can be more delightful than to see truth triumphing over error, and the kingdom of Christ exalted on the ruins of Satan’s empire. On every fresh report that is brought to his ears, he will exclaim, “Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!” — — —]

3. Because without this they can have no hope of ever meeting their people in the realms of bliss—

[How joyful is the thought of that hour, when the minister shall go with his people into the presence of his God, saying, “Here am I, and the children thou hast given me!” And how glorious will be the recompence of his labours, when he shall “have them as his joy and crown of rejoicing” to all eternity [Note: 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.]! If an earthly parent hear of his children, that they are advancing visibly in every thing that is good, so that, though he have no hope of seeing them in this world, he feels assured that he shall meet them again at the right hand of God, and dwell with them for ever in his immediate presence; the thought of a temporary separation from them is swallowed up in the joy that the blessed prospect affords him. So it is with the spiritual Parent, when beholding or hearing of the prosperity of his children: for he knows that he shall “rejoice in the day of Christ, that he has not run in vain, or laboured in vain [Note: Philippians 2:16.].”]

Permit me now to address you,

1. In a way of retrospective inquiry—

[What report must I hear of you? What report have you to give me of yourselves? Has your walk been consistent, uniform, progressive? — — — Be assured, I am prepared to rejoice in your welfare with a truly paternal joy — — —]

2. In a way of prospective admonition—

[Great and manifold are your dangers, whatever progress you may have made. That you may escape them, “take heed to God’s word,” and follow the steps of your blessed Lord: and look to him for all needful strength. “Be strong in him,” and you shall “be more than conquerors through him” — — —]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/3-john-1.html. 1832.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

serves as confirmation of ἐχάρην λίαν

3 John 1:4 serves as confirmation of ἐχάρην λίαν.

μειζότεραν] Grotius: est ad intendendam significationem comparativus e comparativo factus; similar formations occur in the classical language of poets and later writers; see Winer, p. 65; VII. p. 67; in the N. T. comp. Ephesians 3:8.

τούτων οὐκ ἔχω χαρὰν ἵνα κ. τ. λ.—“I have not a greater joy than this, that;τούτων is not used for ταύτης, but “as an indefinite word is to be connected with the more definite ἵνα” (Lücke); some commentators incorrectly supply “ ” before ἵνα. John 15:13 is to be compared with this passage; only that ταύτης is used there, but it does not refer, however, to something preceding, but finds its explanation in the following ἵνα.(17)

τὰ ἐμὰ τέκνα, not “all Christians;” but neither merely the converts of John, but the members of the Churches which were under the special fatherly direction of the apostle (so also Braune).

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/3-john-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

3 John 1:4. τούτων) than these, joys.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/3-john-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "3 John 1:3"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/3-john-1.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Для меня нет большей радости Личная привязанность Иоанна к Гаию возникла из-за достойного поведения последнего (Лк. 6:46).

дети мои Слово «мои» в оригинале очень выразительно. Сердце Иоанна наслаждается правильным поведением его духовных детей в вере. Те, кто ходит в истине, имеют цельную натуру, они едины в своем исповедании и образе жизни. К таким Иоанн испытывал сильную отеческую привязанность (ср. 1Кор. 4:14-16; 1Фес. 2:11; 3:1-10).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/3-john-1.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

My children; Christians, especially those who had been converted through his instrumentality.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/3-john-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

4.] Explains ἐχάρην λίαν above. I have no greater (the form μειζότερος is condemned by some (Phryn. Lob. p. 136, Œc. h. l.) as barbarous. But these comparatives of comparatives and superlatives are found both in classical and in N. T. Greek: see Ephesians 3:8, and note) joy than this (lit. “than these things:” following the usage by which ταῦτα is so often put where one thing only is intended: cf. the formula, καὶ ταῦτα, “idque:” so Plato, Phæd. p. 62, D, ἀλλʼ ὁ ἀνόητος ἄνθρωπος τάχʼ ἂν οἰηθείη ταῦτα, φευκτέον εἶναι ἀπὸ τοῦ δεσπότου. See Kühner, Gr. ii. p. 48), that (explicative, as constantly in St. John after the demonstrative pronoun) I hear of my children walking in the truth (on the participial construction, see note on 2 John 1:7. The expression τέκνα here seems rather to favour the idea that the κυρία of the 2nd Epistle is a Church; but see prolegg. to 2 John).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/3-john-1.html. 1863-1878.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

We do not know if Gaius was John"s child physically, spiritually (his convert), or metaphorically. The last usage of this word is the most common one in the New Testament. In this case he could have been a disciple of John or simply a younger believer (cf. 2 John 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:2).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/3-john-1.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

No greater grace. That is, nothing that gives me greater joy and satisfaction. (Challoner)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/3-john-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

no = not. App-105.

joy. See 1 John 1:4.

than, &c. Literally than these things, that (Greek. hina) I may hear of.

my = mine own.

children. App-108.

walk = walking.

truth = the truth.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/3-john-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. My children - members of the Church: confirming the view that the elect lady (2 John) is a church.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/3-john-1.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
have
Proverbs 23:24
that
Isaiah 8:18; 1 Corinthians 4:15; Galatians 4:19; Philemon 1:10
walk
1 Kings 2:4; 3:6; 2 Kings 20:3; Psalms 26:1-3; Isaiah 38:3; John 12:35,36; Galatians 2:14
Reciprocal: Psalm 26:3 - and;  Psalm 86:11 - I will;  Proverbs 17:21 - hath;  Proverbs 20:7 - just;  Proverbs 23:15 - if;  Acts 11:23 - seen;  Romans 1:12 - that 1may;  1 Corinthians 16:18 - they;  2 Corinthians 6:13 - I speak;  Philippians 1:27 - I may;  Philippians 2:2 - Fulfil;  Philippians 2:19 - that I;  Colossians 1:4 - we;  Philemon 1:20 - let me;  1 John 1:7 - If we;  2 John 1:4 - rejoiced;  3 John 1:3 - I

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/3-john-1.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The joy over the faithfulness of his convert is the kind of "reward" that he means in 2 John 1:8. Beingone of his converts John speaks of him as being among his children. (See explanation of this subject at 1 Timothy 1:2.)

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/3-john-1.html. 1952.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.My children—This would seem to imply that John numbered Gaius among his own converts, and was rejoiced unspeakably at his constancy and zeal.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/3-john-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

3 John 1:4. Cf. Senec. Ep. xxxiv.: “Si agricolam arbor ad fructum perducta delectat, si pastor ex fœtu gregis sui capit voluptatem, si alumnum suum nemo aliter intuetur quam adulescentiam illius suam judicet: quid evenire credis his qui ingenia educaverunt, et quæ tenera formaverunt adulta subito vident?” Ev. sec. Heb. (quoted by Jerome on Ephesians 5:4): “Et numquam, inquit (Dominus), læti sitis nisi cum fratrem vestrum videritis in caritate”. , a double compar.; cf. (Ephesians 3:8); our “lesser”; Germ. mehrere. : this use of the plur. ( ) rather than the sing ( ) is common. See Moulton’s Winer, p. 201. , epexegetic of . Cf.Luke 1:43 and 1 John 3:11. implies that Ganius was a convert of St. John. Cf. marg. note.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/3-john-1.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

4. Nothing makes me happier. It makes a preacher happy to know that someone he has helped to grow in Christ is being faithful to the truth.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/3-john-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.