In these verses, the apostle John addresses the behavior of a man named Diotrephes within the assembly of believers. John had written to the assembly, but Diotrephes, driven by a desire for preeminence, rejects the apostle's authority and refuses to accept his words. Instead, he engages in unjust accusations against John and his companions. Not only does Diotrephes reject fellow believers who desire to receive and support them, but he also actively prevents others from doing so, going so far as to expel them from the assembly.
John's purpose in writing these verses is to expose and address the problematic conduct of Diotrephes. Diotrephes displays an unhealthy desire for prominence and control within the assembly. He seeks to elevate himself above others, disregarding the teachings and authority of the apostles.
John highlights Diotrephes' refusal to accept what the apostles say. This demonstrates a rejection of the truth and a disregard for the authority of those who have been appointed by God to lead and guide the church. Diotrephes' actions are contrary to the spirit of humility, unity, and submission that should characterize the body of believers.
Furthermore, Diotrephes engages in unjust accusations against John and his companions. He uses wicked words to slander them and undermine their authority. This behavior reveals a spirit of opposition and a desire to discredit those who hold different perspectives or challenge his position of influence.
Not only does Diotrephes reject the apostles, but he also hinders the fellowship of believers. He refuses to receive the brothers—fellow believers who desire to support and encourage John and his companions. Moreover, he actively prevents others from welcoming and associating with them. His actions create division, discord, and exclusion within the assembly.
John's response to Diotrephes' behavior is clear. If he were to come to the assembly, he would publicly address and call attention to Diotrephes' deeds. John is committed to upholding the truth, defending the apostolic authority, and promoting the unity and love that should characterize the body of Christ.
These verses serve as a warning against the dangers of pride, self-centeredness, and the misuse of authority within the church. They highlight the importance of humility, submission to godly leadership, and the preservation of unity among believers.
The principles expressed in these verses are relevant to us today. We must guard against the temptation to seek personal prominence or control within the church. Instead, we should embrace a spirit of humility, recognizing and submitting to the authority of those whom God has placed in leadership positions.
Additionally, we are called to be discerning in our interactions with others and to examine our own hearts and motives. We must avoid engaging in unjust accusations or slandering fellow believers, choosing instead to pursue unity, love, and reconciliation.
Furthermore, these verses emphasize the significance of welcoming and supporting fellow believers. We are called to receive one another, extend hospitality, and promote an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion within the body of Christ.
In conclusion, 3 John 9-10 exposes the behavior of Diotrephes, a man who seeks preeminence and rejects the authority of the apostles. John addresses his actions of unjust accusations, rejection of fellow believers, and the prevention of others from receiving and supporting those who represent the apostles. These verses serve as a warning against pride, self-centeredness, and the misuse of authority within the church. They call us to embrace humility, submission, and the pursuit of unity and love among believers.
3 John 9-10. I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, doesn’t accept what we say. Therefore if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words. Not content with this, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and those who would, he forbids and throws out of the assembly.