In the previous chapter, 2 John warned us against receiving false preachers. In this chapter, 3 John encouraged us to warmly receive church workers or preachers, who are sincere and faithful in their service to God.
“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.” – 3 John 1:5-8.
3 John noted an example of the problem that a church will face when an individual decided to forbid receiving preachers of the truth, or true workers of God.
“I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.” – 3 John 1:9
Diotrephes was a selfish church leader who not only refused to receive godly teachers with hospitality, but chose to slander or oppose those who disagreed with him (3 John 1:10).
This chapter demonstrates two things (also for us to reflect upon):
- Hospitality and Love of the Church:
- Besides welcoming brethren from overseas by greeting them, is there more we can do to spend time with them, making them feel at home?
- More importantly, when other godly workers or foreign preachers came to give their service to the Lord, how have we received them thus far? Is there more we can do to be more friendly and hospitable?
- Pride divides the Church:
- Diotrephes’ behaviour in this bible’s chapter revealed the flaw in his character when he intended to exalt himself above others, probably in the attempt to hold on to his power and authority in church.
- When service to God becomes an obsession, it forms pride and greed for power. This will threaten the unity of the Church, where love will slowly turn cold.
- In our service to the Church and to God, what are we truly after? Favour of men? Glory? Or God’s heart?
In summary, this chapter reminds us that doing good glorifies God, and whoever does evil is not one with the Truth (3 John 1:11).