Reading the Word
3 John 9–15 (ESV)
9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 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. 11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. 13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. 15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.
Understanding the Word
After commending the church for supporting fellow workers in the gospel, John now condemns Diotrephes for his lack of support. Diotrephes liked the position of authority and refused to acknowledge the authority of the apostles. John then mentions Demetrius as one who has received a good report and as one to emulate.
Applying the Word
Unfortunately, authority can be abused and often is. It even occurs in churches. Many times a leader will refuse to do what is good and right and biblical because it will result in a loss of control or a loss of power or it will mean that they do not get their way.
We all stand under the authority of the word of God. No church leader is exempt from this. And we are all called to serve one another, not use whatever power or authority or influence we have to serve ourselves. May we do all for the glory of God and to proclaim the gospel message.
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