October 10, 2023 – Tuesday
3 John 1:9 NKJV
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.
3 John 1:9 NET
9 I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not acknowledge us.
3 John is only 15 verses long in the NET, 14 verses in the NKJV. You may read both here and compare them. Our subject today is verse nine above and the ‘villian’ Diotrephes. If you want to know how to pronounce his name, go here and it’s easier than you might think.
Before looking at verse nine, let’s consider Diotrephes name. His name literally means ‘Zeus-nursed’ – a very pagan name. While it was very common when one became a Christian to abandon their pagan name, Diotrephes refused to do so. Likely out of pride, as his name linked him to Zeus.
John the Elder (perhaps John the Apostle in his old age) sends this short letter to Gaius whom he praises for how he received and treated missionaries for the Name (the Name of Jesus). And then he compares that to the actions of Diotrephes, 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. It does not end there, and John threatens to come out and expose Diotrephes in the next verse, 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call attention to the deeds he is doing—the bringing of unjustified charges against us with evil words! And not being content with that, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers himself, but hinders the people who want to do so and throws them out of the church!
Diotrephes is a narcissist, he must be the guy that’s in charge, the first among those in the church he leads. He is not about to receive or acknowledge any missionaries who might share information he was unaware of. No, not him. No telling what his ‘doctrines’ were but John tells us he uses evil words to bring false charges against the missionaries. How bad is he? If any member does welcome the missionaries, he throws them out of the church! This is a man whose life is run by pride, and he has forgotten and neglected the truth that the church always belongs to God.
Listened to an hour-long teaching on this today in the morning about how pride can creep into a church. Not just the pastor, but anybody in any position who can become prideful about their position and what they contribute versus how God makes everything possible.
Before John concludes he makes the statement, 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. After all who was the least prideful person? Jesus, who washed His disciples’ feet and then died on a cross for all of our sins. Diotrephes could not see past his pride that Jesus died for him too as well as for everyone else. His earthly pride blinded him to that truth.
Bottom Line: We all need to be aware of the danger of pride creeping into our lives and causing great damage to our faith walk with Jesus.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for the warning against pride. Please keep us away from the kind of pride that infected Diotrephes. Help us always to remember the example of Your Son, our Lord and Savior. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor (currently unemployed)