From his dwelling in Ephesus, the aging apostle John was called by God to address and single out Diotrephes as a misguided leader out on a selfish mission to serve Satan rather than His creator.
First, John refers to a letter he has previously written to the Corinthian church to which Gaius belonged. The beloved laborer had been traveling companion and host to the apostle Paul a little over a decade earlier.
“9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.” (3 John 1:9)
While Diotrephes is not mentioned elsewhere in the word, by John’s tone we are enlightened to the fact the Corinthian leader’s ways were selfish and not of Christ, as he refused to submit to the apostle authority, bestowed to John by God almighty.
“10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.” (3 John 1:10)
John mentions Diotrephes’ works and mischievous babble against his brother and leader, as well as inhospitable behavior which are clear signs of a man not after God’s heart. More important than words, one’s actions are used for teaching and edification. Selfishness is not of God but charity and benevolence are both traits that flow from those in Christ.
“11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” (3 John 1:11)
Because God does not delight in evil, but is pleased in judgment and righteousness, He calls on believers to pour out His love as he loves us, and to forgive those who trespass us, as He forgives our sins.
“12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.” (3 John 1:12)
John calls Demetrius a man after God’s heart, pointing out his reputation as good and holy. A silversmith by trade, Demetrius has previously campaigned against Christ and God almighty because his wealth relied on the fabrication of idols.
By faith, like many of us, Demetrius was saved from the wages of his sin and eventually, became a trusted laborer for Christ, and the Corinthian church.
“13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.” (3 John 1:13-14)
John shares his wish to exhort the Corinthian church in person in a forthcoming visit to the region, where the gospel continued to be preached and advanced through Gaius, Demetrius and other laborers in Christ. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant John,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre