“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2:2 KJV)
This verse is a verse that prosperity preachers today use to pertain mostly to money and riches. But is that what John means by the word ‘prosper’?
Lets look at the original Greek to gain better understanding on this verse.
The English word ‘prosper’ is the Greek word ‘euodoō‘ and the meaning is: ‘to grant a prosperous and expeditious journey, to lead by a direct and easy way, to grant a successful issue, to cause to prosper, to prosper, be successful‘
The English words ‘all things’ in this verse is the Greek word ‘pas‘ and the meaning is: ‘ individually, each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything collectively, some of all types.‘
The English word ‘soul’ is the Greek word ‘psychē‘ and the meaning is: ‘the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.) , the (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life.’
John here is talking to believers because He writes ‘beloved‘, a term known to be used for believers in Christ. So in the Greek the meaning is clearer and I will paraphrase using the Greek meanings just shown understanding that these are believers John is speaking to. And we looking back know more about the Holy Spirit who has come because we have the full word of God in our hands to understand more truth.
My own Paraphrased and expanded in English when reading this verse in Original Greek.. — Fellow believers in Christ, I pray that you will be -granted by God- an expeditious journey with good physical health and be -lead in a direct and easy way- by the Holy Spirit to cause each of you success in all things in -your life journey- with God, just as when you became saved your soul has prospered when Christ saved you and made you the righteousness of God in Christ.–
Does that sound like John is talking just about monetary riches? NO. Is monetary riches part of ‘all things’, WELL, YES. Is this talking just about being rich all the time as a saved person. WELL, NO!
John is saying in ‘all things‘. Things that pertain to your life after Salvation with God being now with you and guiding you as a son or daughter of God. Once we are saved we start a NEW CHAPTER. You have a newly created Spirit within you now and the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you and guiding you on your NEW LIFE in CHRIST.
We are eternally saved and Heaven bound from the very moment of our Salvation and are now on a NEW journey in this Earthly life and that is abiding in Christ and His words (John 15) and allowing the Holy Spirit of God to guide us, using the word as a lamp for our feet in our walk after Salvation. Jesus said Himself that ‘in this life, you will have tribulation‘ and that means troubles. But in faith knowing God is with us and guiding us in this journey of newness of life in Christ and that He will show us all truth. And one of those truths is the glorious ‘end game‘ and ‘finish line‘ of our Earthly life… Life in Heaven and the soon coming New Jerusalem!
Sure, it is good to have money. Money is NOT the root of all evil after all; the Bible says it is the –LOVE of money– that is the root of all evil. Money can help us to help others. But it is not some equation that the prosperity teachers these days are teaching where if we GIVE GIVE, then God MUST make us monetarily rich. We do not ‘wheel and deal‘ with God for our own benefit!! They use this verse COMPLETELY out of context!! That is non-sense and lie!
There are other things that make us prosper such as prospering in loving others and the fruit produced by that. God says that it is better to give than to receive, right? Yes, it is. That gives more joy and feeling of accomplishment and success than money ever could produce in our hearts! And Prospering in helping others come to Christ, what a joy to us and to the angels in Heaven rejoicing over every person that comes to Christ! And in many many other ways God will prosper us in a manner that will produce REAL JOY in our hearts and cause our soul to prosper. OUR SOUL.. OUR SPIRIT.
After your Salvation we need to be like Christ who humbled Himself even to physical death on a cross, in love. Love God and LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In these two things you fulfill the Law and your soul prospers and the result is amazing joy.
John felt this joy as we see in the very next couple of verses,
“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John: 3-4 KJV)
May God GRANT us TRUE SOUL prosperity in our walk with Christ and that our joy be filled in this way.