The book of 2 John is one of the tiniest in the entire Bible, with only 245 words written in the original Greek. It would have easily fit on one page of papyrus. It is a letter written to a mother and her children who were leaders in ministry and, most probably, were hosting a house church in their home. (Many scholars agree with this assessment, although some believe that it wasn’t written to a specific woman but to an entire church that John was simply addressing as “select lady.”)
In this postcard-sized letter, John urged the lady and her children to seek truth. In fact, the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary breaks down John’s letter like this: love the truth, live the truth, look for the truth, and long for the truth.
With so much of Paul’s writing focused on unity, John gives some balance here. He wrote: “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work (2 John 9-11).”
John’s instruction seems harsh! Don’t even welcome this person? What happened to love?
John lived in a world not unlike ours. Many people were teaching their own truth; words that were popular, words that affirmed what people’s ears wanted to hear with enough real truth sprinkled throughout to fool the unsuspecting. This is always packaged in an appealing way. John told the woman to have nothing to do with these teachers and leaders at all lest she or others become confused or persuaded by it.
The truth matters. The truth is how we know God (because God is truth), it’s the solid rock that we stand on when our faith feels shaky. Jesus even said that it is the truth that sets us free (John 8:32). There is no substitute for truth.
(For those who have missed any of the previous lessons, you can go to https://comethirstyministry.com/blog/ and view all previous postings.)
Day 1: 1 Peter 2:1-25 (Preparation for chapter 3)
Day 2: 1 Peter 3:1-22 (Wives)
Day 3: 1 Peter 5:1-14 (Woman in Babylon)
Day 4: 2 John 10:1-13 (The Elect Lady)
Day 5: Revelation 1:1-20 (Everyone)