June 4 – Today’s Readings – 2 and 3 John, Jude and Proverbs 4
2John – vs.1 reads, “The elder – To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth – and not I only, but also all who know the truth”.
The book of Second John is interesting to me because scholars can’t agree on who “the chosen lady” was. Was she the Pastor of a small church? – Was she John’s wife? – Was she a godly and respected woman who had natural or spiritual children scattered abroad? No one seems to know for sure but the fact that this letter appears in Scripture is remarkable in itself.
The portion that stands out to me in this book is verse 6, “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” This verse clearly equates love with obedience to God’s commands. How simple is that? It is (of course) made even simpler by the fact that all of God’s commands to His children can be concentrated into one word – “love”
3John – The astounding thing to me about Third John is the comment made about a certain Pastor named Diotrephes who wanted nothing to do with John the beloved disciple and Apostle of Jesus. This Pastor’s behavior was so disrespectful that he was gossiping about John and putting people out of the Church who welcomed him or “the brothers”! This is really unbelievable but it underlines the fact that some people who call themselves Pastors are not necessarily men of God. Take a moment and consider what it would be like to have this man, Diotrephes as your Pastor. He would be the kind of man who would be so incredibly self centered and controlling that he would actually believe that he owned the Church – that everything revolved around him and that he was the head of the Church – talk about a group of people who would be open to deception! This fellow was so brash that he had the audacity to exclude one of the Apostles that Jesus had personally appointed to help lead the Church!
Jude – In the book of Jude, we find the writings of another “half brother” of Jesus Christ – (full brother of James, the author of the book of James and spokesperson for the Church in Jerusalem). He too had things to say about pastors and brothers who indulge in immorality and pollute their own bodies because of their ungodly desires. There certainly seemed to be an abundance of Church problems even in the first century after Jesus. It’s terrible how fast the Church can fall into spiritual disrepair if it is not watched over carefully. Let’s keep a guard over ourselves, and the Church of Jesus Christ so that the same will not be said of us!
1. John indicates that Christian love and obedience go hand in hand. How does this work itself out in our lives?
2. Have you ever heard of a pastor with the same controlling spirit as “Diotrephes”? Without naming names, tell about how this spirit affected the Church he or she was leading.