Bible Reading Day 343
Day 343: December 9 (3 John)
John’s third letter seems to be a follow-up to his previous letter. Diotrephes (a leader in the church) was opposing John’s authority and wisdom.
John’s earlier letter was about welcoming itinerant preachers, while taking care not to welcome false teachers.
Diotrephes would not allow that letter to be read in the church. So John now writes to his friend and disciple, Gaius, to instruct him and to ask him to provide hospitality for Demetrius (one of the true itinerants).
From our perspective, it is hard to imagine how a church leader could reject the authority of the last apostle. But clearly there were factions and splits in the church even then. Usually these can be traced to someone getting into a leadership position but still being self-focused or refusing to be mutually submissive to others in leadership.
In this case, John describes Diotrephes as a bad example, and says that he “loves to be the leader.” Clearly this is hindering the gospel and makes it necessary for John to write twice to try to correct this situation.
In our lives, we are taking a great risk when we refuse to accept input, especially from those who are recognized as elders, or who have greater experience than ourselves (as John clearly did in this case).
Who has God placed in your life to help you avoid this trap? Why not thank them today and ask them to give you input or encouragement?
Have a great day!