D is for Demetrius
3 John 1:12a "Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself:"
The short books of 1, 2, and 3 John towards the end of the New Testament are some of my favorite books. They are full of gems.
In 3 John several believers are mentioned by name, some for good things, and others not so good. There were a number of believers in the churches by now, so to have one specifically named and praised by Paul the author is especially meaningful.
This book only has one chapter. It is one of the shortest books in the entire Bible. It starts out mentioning another man, Diotrephes in a negative light. Apparently, in his proud state, he refused to receive Paul. But then a short verse is inserted with praise for a faithful man called Demetrius. Paul states that Demetrius has a good reputation, a good report, not only in his own body of believers, but also far abroad, where other believers are located. Paul has made the rounds, traveling to many churches, and has always heard a good report about Demetrius.
Demetrius is a lover and seeker of truth itself. He is not proud in his pursuit of the truth, but well loved by all. What a tremendous example of a balanced life! Being true and right, but not offensive to others.
As I studied for today's short devotion, I noticed a very interesting connection. This letter of 3 John is written to a faithful man named Gaius.
Gaius is also present at the first mention of a man named Demetrius in Acts 19. There, Gaius was Paul's traveling and preaching companion, and a man named Demetrius was mentioned as a silver smith who was very skilled in making and selling silver crafted idols. Following the preaching, there was a great conflict where Gaius nearly lost his life as a result of the anger of the people who worshiped the goddess Diana, the one of whom Demetrius was making a profit selling silver shrines.
Perhaps this Demetrius is one and the same! If so, salvation obviously had a great affect on his life, his vocation, and his reputation, taking him from a skilled silver smith crafting idols to a faithful helper of Gaius and the church. Where once he was part of the mob ready to kill Gaius, he then became his faithful companion. I can see where such a great change would have people watching and wondering if Demetrius was truly a changed man, and it is a great blessing to read Paul calling him out and giving him a good report.
From the life of Demetrius, we can be encouraged to live a balanced life, grounded in the pursuit of truth, and living as a faithful and consistent example of it to those around us.
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