October 19 2021
Today, Tuesday October 19
Evidence of a Diotrephes
3 John 1:9-11 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. 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.
It is amazing how everyone seems to have a “Diotrephes” in their family or life. And every church must have to deal with one sooner or later. He might appear as a “pastor” who holds a mic in his hand and draws attention to himself as he takes the platform instead of following the example of Jesus. Jesus took a towel in His hand and knelt down and washed the disciple’s feet. A “Diotrephes” might show up as a hardworking, dedicated, smooth talking, church member who manipulates himself into a position of leadership in the church.
Yesterday we looked at the motivation of a “Diotrephes.” It is pride, and it is obvious, because he wants to be recognized and applauded for whatever he does. He wants to be in position of power and control and use others to accomplish his agenda. Today we want to identify the characteristics of a Diotrephes.
John first points out that Diotrephes “did not receive him.” Can you imagine someone that would reject and oppose this wonderful, loving, kind, gracious and encouraging disciple of Jesus? John had spent at least three years with Jesus personally. He was the Savior’s dear friend, who when Jesus was dying, He would ask John to take care of His mother. You would think everyone in a first century church knew this about John and would have been honored and blessed greatly to have the opportunity to even meet John and be in his presence. But not a Diotrephes.
The church that Gaius and Diotrephes were members of must have been visited by John on at least one occasion. John had written them a previous letter but Diotrephes had an issue with it. I believe he felt threatened by John, by John’s love and his grace, which were not a part of his life. A Diotrephes will oppose those who are genuinely humble and seek to honor the Lord Jesus. Watch out for those who are negative to other believers who are humbly serving the Lord.
A Diotrephes will also lie and publicly put down and malign other people. John said Diotrephes, opposed him by “prating against him with malicious words”. You usually can identify these kind of people because they think they can make themselves look better by making other people look bad. They think they can climb the ladder of success by stepping on those around them. Do you know someone like that?
“The best way to move up in life is to push those around you up and promote them, and you will get caught up in the draft!” That’s a quote I heard from Zig Ziglar over forty years ago and never forgot. Remember what John the Baptist said, “He must increase but I must decrease” (John 3:30).