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3 John 5-10 – Contrasting Examples of Christian Leadership


Gaius and Diotrephes offer contrasting images of Christian leadership and its effects on the life and work of the church.


Gaius is commended as one who assists his fellow Christian leaders, even when they are strangers, thus building up the community of Christ and helping speed the gospel mission. Diotrephes is condemned as a negative example. He does not show humility, but arrogance, and he will not join with or follow the teachings of John the Elder. Instead, Diotrephes spreads malicious gossip about him. This leads to destruction in the local church.

3 John 5-10

Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends,* even though they are strangers to you; 6they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; 7for they began their journey for the sake of Christ,* accepting no support from non-believers.* 8Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth.

Diotrephes and Demetrius

I have written something to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing in spreading false charges against us. And not content with those charges, he refuses to welcome the friends,* and even prevents those who want to do so and expels them from the church.