Today we’re looking at one of the shortest books in the Bible: it’s 2 John, a letter which is widely believed to be written by the apostle John and written around the same time as 1 John (about early 60s AD). Let’s go!
2 John 1:1 (NIV) 1 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–
On verse 1: Who is this “chosen lady” that John is writing to? Many scholars believe that this chosen lady was not an individual but a church community. This is supported by the fact that there are no proper names given for this chosen lady, John refers to this lady not just in the singular but also in the plural, and the church is called the “bride of Christ” in the New Testament. Similarly, “your chosen sister” (v13) is probably referring to another church community from which John is writing his letter.
Since this was a time of heavy persecution of Christians, “chosen lady” and “your chosen sister” may have been secret code words to keep this letter from being detected by persecutors of Christians.
2 John 1:2 (NIV) 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:
On verse 2: “The truth” John is referring to, who “lives in us and will be with us forever”, is Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself says, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). For Christians, truth is not just a principle; truth is a Person. His name is Jesus.
On verses 3-13: Some of the big lessons from 1 John are also touched on here in 2 John:
Affirmation that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (v3)
How God commands us to love one another (v5)
How true love is about obeying God’s commands (v6)
Warnings about false teachers who deny that Jesus is the Son of God who came to this earth in the flesh (v7-11)
That if you don’t have Christ you don’t have God, but if you have Christ you have God the Father as well (v9)
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ, like a code word, as a message about Yourself to us. Thank You that by Your Spirit and by Your grace we can decipher that code and understand the parable that You are speaking about who You are, whereas others may miss Your message. Thank You Jesus for being the way, the truth and the life, who lives in us and will be with us forever. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!