“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Diotrephes — Long Name, Big Head
(Please read 3 John 9-10)
Diotrephes is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible, but we can get well enough acquainted with him from John’s brief description. It’s clear that Diotrephes’ proud and arrogant attitude was disturbing the church. His pride is shown in his desire for preeminence, and his arrogance is evident in his refusal to have anything to do with the great apostle John.
It was pride that caused Satan to fall. And in that memorable list of seven things “the Lord hates,” in Proverbs 6:16-19, the very first one is “haughty eyes” a poetic way of saying pride. Diotrephes held himself aloof from certain brethren and forbade others to have anything to do with them. Apparently he actually put some out of the church for receiving brethren on his “shun” list. Thus the poison tree of pride within him threatened the entire congregation. Wrapped so thoroughly in his own conceit, he haughtily rejected the very disciple who had sat next to Jesus at the last supper, and used wicked words to make unjust accusations against him. The situation was so serious that the beloved apostle planned, if he got to come to that church, to expose Diotrephes for what he was.
If this picture makes you shudder, fine. Because there’s a lesson here for us. With our human frailties, there is some pride in all of us and it’s sometimes pretty close to the surface; so we all need to be on guard against the desire for distinction. God knows who we are and what we do, and he watches over us and cares for us. And that should be distinction enough.