2 & 3 John

These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!


Question: who is “the Elect Lady” of 2 John?

I vacillate between it being an actual woman who is helping lead a house church (thus the reference to her as a leader and her home as the place of fellowship) or it being a generic reference to the church or at least church leaders (for instance, people calling the church a bride, or God calling Israel a mother–see Hosea).

I think I’d lean more toward the former, especially when he mentions her “chosen sister” at the end, but it’s impossible to tell for sure and I could be persuaded either way–or maybe there’s another option?

Doctrine

Something I’m picking up in 2 John and 3 John is how intensely they took correct doctrine.

In this case, it was doctrine about who Jesus was. Was He fully God and man? Or was He not a man, but only appeared that way (which the gnostics thought)?

This was not something where agreeing to disagree was an option.

In 2 John, the church was to adamantly reject fellowship with people who held a false view on this. And in 3 John, the false teacher was trying to get them away from the true fellowship.

It shows me how serious these things are. Even if our culture holds a looser concept on doctrine concerning matters such as Jesus/God and salvation, God doesn’t treat it so loosely, and neither should we.

As Jude says: “I was going to write you about one thing [our common salvation] but then decided to write you that you need to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered” (my paraphrase)! Notice, we have a book of the Bible that totally changed its course when they realized they were getting sloppy on important doctrine. So he urges them to “content earnestly” for proper doctrine–confronting false teachers in your midst.


The Joy of Children Walking in the Faith

One very basic thing I see pop up in both 2 John and 3 John is the rejoicing over children walking in faith.
2 John v 4: “It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.”
3 John v 4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

It seems very plausible that he could be talking about “spiritual children” that are new in the faith. I, however, could not help but think of my own children when reading this. I would share the sentiment of having no greater joy than knowing that my three boys are walking in the truth.

Good Commands

2 John 1:6- “and this is love that we walk according to His commandments.” Reminded here that His commandments are not burdensome but for our good

Face-to-Face

He ends both 2 & 3 John with this deep desire to see the church and believers he loves face to face. I echo this. Writing and talking and texting are good tools but nothing beats face to face.

I am reminded of our first day back in person at church after a long Covid hiatus. Our church went completely online during the height of the initial wave of the pandemic, and we were very grateful for the online option. However, I remember the first in-person service we attended once things opened up, and it was a much needed refreshment to my soul to see my church community face to face again. There is nothing that can replace face to face interaction.

One thought on “2 & 3 John

  1. We may live in a digital age, but at heart we are all analog folk.
    Contend for truth always, and face to face is best!

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