Who Are We? 3 John 9 (Article)
Third John was a letter to a Middle Eastern Christian by the name of Gaius. John, the author, called him “beloved” and wrote that he was “walking in the truth.” John described him as faithful. Tradition records he became the Bishop, or pastor, of the church in Pergamum (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Apostolic-Constitutions) https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/07157.htm). Reading 3 John, Gaius had his work cut out for him.
Over the centuries and across the world, the church has had to deal with false teaching, in-fighting, and pressure from the ungodly culture.
We get to verse 9 and read,
I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. (3 John 9–10)
Diotrephes need correction. John wrote that he,
Put himself first
Didn’t acknowledge his authority
Slandered his leadership
Was not welcoming
And opposed those who were
Do we know people like Diotrephes? Do you know proud people? Do you know people who slander? Do you know people who misuse their authority? Do you know people who are not welcoming? How do we handle the sin of others?
First, let us look in the mirror. Could it be that we ourselves are Diotrephes?
Do we need to repent of putting ourselves first and insisting our way?
Do we need to change how we speak?
Do we need to be more friendly, welcoming, and hospitable?
If we look closely, the evil of Diotrephes is not too far from you and me. Jesus wants us to get the log out of our eye before we take the speck out of our neighbor’s (Matthew 7:5).
Second, let us pursue the opposite. Let us be like Gaius, the recipient of this letter. Let us be faithful and walk in the truth.
How? We must go back to Gaius and remember who he was; beloved. You are loved by God. Friends, do you believe that? Your identity in Christ empowers you to be like Christ.
The Bible is a love letter to you.
God wants to have a relationship with you.
He demonstrated his love for you by sending his one and only Son, Jesus.
If we turn from sins and believe, we can be loved less and less like Diotrephes.
Join me in this journey.