-John the Elder (denotes his advanced age when writing by now) writes to “the elect lady (more than likely a church, could have needed to use code language in a time or situation of persecution) and her children (the congregation of the church). This is confirmed at the end of the short letter with John’s specific wording it appears as he calls those sending greetings from his party children also and the elect Sister (2 John 1:13). Here the symbolic language reflects the nature of the church. We are the bride of Christ and therefore in the writer’s mind we take on a feminine quality of dependence and submission to our Head, Jesus Christ, who is our groom (Ephesians 5:23-32). *Application* We are bound by relationship to the Lord our God and to each other. There is definitely a community aspect to our faith and to neglect this is severely detrimental to our well-being. Get connected to a local body of believers in Jesus Christ if you currently are not. This is where you can grow and develop your spiritual being in love. There should never be any “lone ranger” Christians in the body of Christ. Let’s get together people for the Kingdom!
-John loves this church in truth along with others that know the truth. This truth, which is the reality of Jesus Christ coming in the flesh as God’s Son, abides in the believers, and will be with us forever (2 John 1:1-2). John also pronounces grace, mercy, and peace upon the recipients of the letter, which also applies to us in the modern era. This is done in truth and love (2 John 1:3). So John makes it a point to relate how the truth revolves around the command to love one another, which they have had from the beginning (2 John 1:4-6). The truth needs to be at the forefront because many deceivers have gone out into the world with the antichrist spirit. A watchful eye upon ourselves is required so that loss does not occur, but that a full reward may be won (2 John 1:7-8). Continuance in the commands of God in love requires abiding in His teaching (2 John 1:9). Anyone who comes to the church (i.e. believers) and does not bring this teaching of truth, love, and the reality of Christ coming in the flesh is not to be received. If these deceivers are received, the one who greets him takes part in his wicked works (2 John 1:10-11). *Application* This is some hard hitting stuff. Hopefully we can see the seriousness of allowing false teaching in our midst within the church. Notice the three important areas John focuses on: truth, love, and the reality of who Christ Jesus is. Abide in the teachings of Christ and you will do well. Don’t stray off the narrow path.
-John has a lot more to say to these beloved people, but he wanted to do it face-to-face rather than with paper and ink (2 John 1:12). *Application* We can see the relational nature of the apostle here in concluding phrase. It is easy to hide behind letters, or texts, or e-mails. A better idea when you really care about a situation is to have live and natural communication with people. Presence is important.
Verses to Memorize: 2 John 1:1-2