“Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.”
“Therefore” refers to immediately preceding statements indicating John’s reasons for giving Diotrephes a dressing down when he comes to Ephesus.
if I come,
The “elder” (v.1) John will deal with Diotrephes personally when he comes to Ephesus (v. 14). Diotrephes will answer the authority of an apostle at that time.
I will call to mind his deeds which he does,
John will manifest the deeds of Diotrephes publicly to the congregation at Ephesus. He will lay the following charges against him:
· Prating against us with malicious words
· Not receive the brethren
· Putting people out of the church
prating against us with malicious words.
Diotrephes threatened the spread of the gospel by his actions and personal intrigue. He maliciously spread unjustified charges about John and his team.
The word “prating” means to bring false charges of tattle, to babble with gossip. This is the only occurrence of this Greek word in the New Testament. Diotrephes talk was nonsense and senseless. He deemed John as a rival to his authority and sought to undermine him by false accusations. Diotrephes was a man of little content, for he was filled with empty talk.
Diotrephes hurled “malicious” words that tore down the reputation of the gospel team. He spread vicious innuendos about them.
Religious tyrants do great damage to the cause of Christ.
Power lust is a problem in church leadership today. It will cause havoc to the work of Christ. People with power lust care little about what they say or how they say it as long as they remain king of the mountain. They will pull anyone down on the way up to the top of the mountain.
People with power lust will verbally run down any rival to their power. They will cut the ground out from under any Christian leader by attacking their person. They will assassinate anyone’s character or reputation as long as they deem that it reflects well on them.
1 Ti 5:13, “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.”
2 Ti 2:16-16, 16 “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort…”
Ro 14:4, 10, 12, 4 “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand…. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…. 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”
Abuse of leadership, however, does not negate balanced biblical leadership.
He 13:7, 17, 7 “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct…. 17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”