John’s second epistle is the shortest book of the New Testament, consisting of only one chapter that is composed of only 13 verses. John opens the letter this way:
“The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever…”
Here, John refers to himself as an elder, just as Peter did (1 Peter 5:1). Some speculate that he uses the term “the elder” because at the time of this writing, he is the only one of the apostles left alive. That is certainly a possibility.
John is not addressing a particular woman in this letter. The lady that he refers to is likely a particular church in the region where he is living – possibly Ephesus, and its children are other congregations that have been started in other cities as a result of the work being done there. The word “church” in Greek is feminine in gender, and John refers to it as t”the bride” elsewhere in his writings.
John’s purpose in writing the letter is to urge them to love one another, and particularly, as in all three of his epistles, to warn against false doctrines. The appearance on the scene of gnosticism has likely become a big concern for the apostle, and his pastoral role is to help guard them against such things.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.