3 John today, a small letter written from the apostle John to Gaius, probably a friend in the early church, someone he loved "in the truth" (vs 1). In the short letter, John references:
1. How he heard that people were living in the truth (vs 4) and how it made his heart glad. Personally, when I see people living out the truth of Christ as I've ministered to them, nothing brings me greater joy.
2. He encourages this church to continue to help the traveling evangelists and ministers of that day (vss 5-7). They needed their support (vs 8).
3. Finally, what really hits me here, is two names John mentions. One is "Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader" (vs 9). He was evidently a control freak. He said "wicked things" about John and others. He doesn't welcome traveling teachers and even encourages others not to do so. When others to help them, Diotrephes puts them out of the church (vs 10). Again, he is a leader who wanted to exercise control and be in control. Pride must have consumed his heart. He was a "bad example" (vs 11), a man whom John did not want influencing others.
Diotrephes is contrasted to "Demetrius" (vs 12). Evidently, everyone speaks highly of him. John must know him personally and affirms his person as a man of integrity. He does good and is a blessing to the church.
Here's a question for us all: if John was writing about our character in our present churches, whom would we be more like, Diotrephes or Demetrius? One controls. The other loves.
I hope all of us would want to be Demetrius...and are striving to be that kind of Christ-follower in our lives and churches.
Vs 15: "May God's peace be with you."