“I will call attention to what he is doing…” 3 John 10

Albert Einstein noted that “the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out that “the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.” John Stuart Mill said that “bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

In Matthew 18, Jesus gives us a great principle for how to deal with someone who has sinned against you personally. He instructs us to

“. . . go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.… But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you…. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17)

There is a clear progression that gets wider and wider in its scope with each step of the person’s closed ears. However, what if someone sinned publicly? Does that mean that we still ought to go to the offending party personally? Or does a public sin necessitate a public rebuke? Clearly, every individual situation is going to take wisdom to determine the right answer, but in this passage, the Apostle John has decided that the sin of Diotrephes necessitated a public rebuke. John decides to “call attention to what he is doing” in a letter addressed to the entire church! This is a big deal! What John is doing is standing up for what is right for the sake of those who don’t have the status within the church to stand up for themselves. These were people who were not being welcomed into the church because of the wickedness of one man.

Let’s be a church that stands up and fights for this church to be a welcoming place. Let’s be the first to repent of ways that we have not been welcoming and let’s call attention to anything that we see that hinders one of God’s loved ones, made in his image, from being offered a place in His house.

Josh Rose
Discipleship Pastor

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