In his third letter, the apostle John revisits some of the themes he emphasized in his first two letters—God’s love for us and our love for others, the connection between truth and obedience, and the dangers of false teaching. In this third letter, he issues a warning against a dictatorial church leader named Diotrephes. We’ve all likely come in contact with a person like this– someone marked by arrogance and an inhospitable attitude. Where most of the churches welcomed those who taught the truth, Diotrephes shuns God’s anointed teachers, probably because he doesn’t want them to draw any attention away from himself.
We’ve all likely come in contact with a person like this– someone marked by arrogance and an inhospitable attitude.
This third letter is addressed specifically to Gaius, a hospitable leader who loved to bring in outside teachers who presented the truth. These were the same people whom Diotrephes rejected. John warns against this power-seeking man and the evil behind any attempt to stop true teachers of the Word. While Diotrephes slandered these teachers with malicious words and tried to limit their influence, another man in the church, Demetrius, is honored by John for all the good he is doing. In fact, he says, everyone speaks well of him.
John warns against this power-seeking man and the evil behind any attempt to stop true teachers of the Word.
Every congregation seems to have people like Diotrephes, who want to make everything about themselves and their message. But every congregation also has people like Demetrius, who work for the good of all by following God’s path with integrity and a hospitable spirit. So, which will you choose to be in your church?
Here’s a short video that highlights five key themes from the book of 3 John. May you be blessed by it.