3 John 1.9-10 – Truth in Humility

Having seen a good example in vv.5-8, John now gives us an example of what to avoid.

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.

When we acknowledge the truth of Jesus, and submit our lives to this truth, we will find ourselves wanting more and more not to act like this.

The example here of Diotrephes is certainly what not to do.

He was proud – …likes to put himself first…

He was putting himself as the ultimate authority in his own life – …does not acknowledge our authority.

He was gossiping – …talking wicked nonsense against us.

He was refusing to show hospitality – …refuses to welcome the brothers

He was preventing others showing hospitality and excommunicating them from the church – …stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

When we see examples like this in God’s Word, we would do well to remember the principle of 1 Peter 5.5, James 4.6, and Proverbs 3.34, wherein we see that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

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“The truth of Jesus that guides our lives will surely help us to resist pride and receive grace.”

When we truly acknowledge, profess, and possess the truth of Jesus, there will be more humility than pride in our lives, and we will want to resist pride at all costs, and receive grace above all else. 

Point to ponder – What am I doing today to resist pride and receive grace?

Prayer – Father, we thank you that your Word has both good examples and bad examples in it for us to learn from. Help us to learn from this passage in 3 John today, help us to resist pride, and help us to receive grace more abundantly than we could ever imagine. Amen. 

3 John 1.5-8 – Truth in Hospitality

After introducing his letter to Gaius as being about the individual truth that we need to profess, possess, and witness, John now gives three examples; good, bad, and good. Today, the first good.

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

It appears that Gaius had been showing hospitality for these brothers, and was sending them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.

Even in the very early days of the church, it seems that there were travelling teachers, evangelists, and missionaries. These brothers had evidently been cared for by Gaius, then had told John about the hospitality they received (v.6a). 

David Guzik writes on this,

The reward for these support people is the same as those who are out on the front lines. 1 Samuel 30:21-25 shows this principle, where the spoils are distributed equally among those who fought and those who supported. King David understood that the supply lines were just as vital as the soldiers, and God would reward both soldiers and supporters properly and generously.

John says that these travelling teachers accepted no help from the general population, so the burden for their support should be met by fellow believers (vv.7-8).

Showing hospitality is an important thing to God (1 Peter 4.8-09, Titus 1.8, Luke 14.12-14, Matthew 25.42-46). It might not seem like the most exciting or glamorous of services to the Lord, but it’s something that we are commanded to do.

The good example Gaius gives here is that we are to care for those who are ministering to others.

Simply then, if all are called to minister in some way, shape, or form (Colossians 3.23-24), then all of us are called to show hospitality to somebody, somewhere, at sometime. 

Point to ponder – Who can I show hospitality to today?

Prayer – Father, we know that oftentimes hospitality is not high on our list of ways we think we can serve you. We thank you for your Word, and the encouragement and exhortation it contains towards hospitality. Show us today who we can serve and minister to, for your glory. Amen.