3 John 1:9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
Remember back to the days of junior high and high school when the annual yearbook was a big deal. Everyone wants to make it in the yearbook. I’m not talking about your class picture. No, I’m talking about making it into the candid section or the sports section or maybe even some pictures from a school dance. Yes, everyone wants to make it in the book. After all, if you make it in the book you have arrived; you must be popular. Oh to return to the days when the biggest crisis in life was whether or not we made it in the book!
But what if you made it in the book in a way that you didn’t expect. Imagine a fresh yearbook in your hand. You start tearing through the pages looking for your face everywhere possible. You scan every picture with detail and then you see it: the page where people are elected most likely to succeed and stuff like that. Your face – you made it! But wait! What does that say? Biggest jerk? Biggest loser? Oh no, I made the book but now I will be known for all time as the biggest jerk in the school.
Welcome to the life of Diotrephes here in third John. Could you imagine having your name written down for all time as the guy who loves to be first and ruins the church rather than builds it up? That kind of thing stays with you… for eternity. Were his eyes so stuck on himself that he missed the greater work that God was doing in the church? Was he so intent on his personal success that he ended up creating a high ranking social club rather than the church of Jesus Christ. Can you hear Jesus now? “Get behind me Satan!”
I wonder where I would make it in the book. Would I be on the pages of great faith like Abraham or would I be on the pages of rebuke like Diotrephes. I do know this: we will one day give an account when we stand before our Lord and Savior. I wonder what that day was like for Diotrephes? I am sure of this, today is the day that I can write my eternity on the pages of God’s book. Today is the day that I can decide to be a builder of others rather than a consumer of self. Today is the day that I can part ways with Diotrephes. While he may have won the biggest jerk award, I think I’ll keep trying for the most likely to succeed one.