3 John closes with a character sketch of a man named Demetrius. Demetrius stands as the direct opposite of what Diotrephes was. For all the arrogance and lack of true biblical character that Diotrephes had, Demetrius shows up as the prime example of what truth is. There are three affirmations to the testimony of Demetrius that I want to point out from verse 12.
1) Demetrius had a good reputation with all men.
How often do you meet someone who you can say that about? Most often, when you meet someone who is a nice guy, there is a faction that just abhors them. If they are doing right, those that are doing evil just despise him. But in this case, ALL would say that he has a good reputation. They are not angry at him. They would not call him self-serving or self-righteous. He is a true standard of Christian character and testimony. I know a few men like this, and they are certainly the exception and not the rule.
2) According to biblical truth, he is without any error.
Often, those who would be accepted by all, think that they must water down what they believe. They feel that they must embrace the false beliefs or agree to half-truths, but not Demetrius. According to 3 John 12, “The truth itself” bears witness to his testimony. He is as solid as they come and nothing can shake that. While those who are accepted by all and are confirmed to have a good reputation by all are rare, those who do it uncompromisingly are almost unheard of. Yet, Demetrius stands as the prime example.
3) John was willing to vouch for him.
Something could be said of a persons character when you are willing to stake your own reputation on them. I often hesitate when asked for a reference or a letter of recommendation, because I fear that my reference or recommendation may not be able to be fully supported by the person being referred. But John puts it all on the line. “Demetrius is as good as they get, and I sign my name to that.”
What character! Oh that we could have young men and young women who unwaveringly would not settle for less than an impeccable, truth-filled, God-glorifying testimony.
Food For Thought: What three things established the character of Demetrius?