Reading for Today:
- Hosea 9:1–10:15
- Psalm 139:13-16
- Proverbs 29:21
- 3 John 1-14
Hosea 9:7,8 The prophets were God’s inspired messengers and watchmen (Ezek. 3:17; 33:1–7), yet Israel considered them fools and madmen.
Hosea 10:8 Cover us!…Fall on us! The captivity would be so severe that the people would pray for the mountains and hills to fall on them, similar to the last days (Luke 23:30; Rev. 6:16).
Psalm 139:13 formed…covered. By virtue of the divinely designed period of pregnancy, God providentially watches over the development of the child while yet in the mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:16 Your book. This figure of speech likens God’s mind to a book of remembrance. none of them. God sovereignly ordained David’s life before he was conceived.
3 John 4 I have no greater joy. John’s personal affection for Gaius radiated especially from his personal conduct (Luke 6:46). my children. The word “my” is emphatic in the original. John’s heart delighted in the proper conduct of his spiritual children in the faith. Those who walk (conduct) in the truth (belief) have integrity—there is no dichotomy between professing and living. He had strong fatherly affection for them (1 Cor. 4:14–16; 1 Thess. 2:11; 3:1–10).
DAY 9: What was the problem with Diotrephes in 3 John 9,10?
John apparently had written a previous letter to the church (v. 9), perhaps on the subject of hospitality, but it was lost. Perhaps Diotrephes never read it to the church because he rejected John’s authority (vv. 9, 10). “Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence.” The word “preeminence” has the idea of “desiring to be first.” It conveys the idea of someone who is selfish, self-centered, and self-seeking. The language suggests a self-promoting demagogue, who served no one, but wanted all to serve only him. Diotrephes’ actions directly contradict Jesus’ and the New Testament’s teaching on servant leadership in the church (Matt. 20:20–28; Phil. 2:5–11; 1 Tim. 3:3; 1 Pet. 5:3). “Diotrephes,…does not receive us.” Diotrephes modeled the opposite of kindness and hospitality to God’s servants, even denying John’s apostolic authority over the local congregation, and as a result, denying the revelation of God that came through that authority. His pride endeavored to supplant the rule of Christ through John in the church. Diotrephes’ character was the very opposite of the gentle and loving Gaius who readily showed hospitality.
“If I come, I will call to mind his deeds” (v. 10). John’s apostolic authority meant that Diotrephes had to answer for his behavior. The apostle did not overlook this usurping of Christ’s place in the church. Verse 10 indicates that Diotrephes was guilty of 4 things: 1) “prating against us.” The word “prating” comes from a word meaning “to bubble up” and has the idea of useless, empty jabber, i.e., talking nonsense. The charges against John were completely unjustified; 2) “with malicious words.” Not only were Diotrephes’ charges false, they were evil; 3) “does not receive the brethren.” He not only slandered John but also deliberately defied other believers; and 4) “putting them out of the church.” The original language indicates that Diotrephes’ habit was to excommunicate those who resisted his authority. To accept John’s authority (v. 9), as well as being hospitable to the traveling ministers, directly threatened the authority that Diotrephes coveted.
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.