December 13, 2o15.
Daily Reading: II John.
Background: This is John’s second epistle written to those that he loved in truth, likely disciples of whom the aged apostle had some role of oversight (see background to I John). The elder expresses his love for them and his joy in finding some of them walking in the truth. The main purpose of the letter is to again address the heretical teaching that had arisen that Jesus had not come in the flesh, but only in spirit. He gives strong warnings about this group and saves everything else he had to talk to them about for a personal visit when he hoped to make.
Concepts and Connections
Walking in truth and love: John opens his epistle as a loving father writing to his beloved children, commenting on their knowledge of the truth and the fellowship he and they share in it. Truth and love are indeed the themes found throughout this short epistle. He begins his main point by first rejoicing because he found some of the disciples he is writing to were indeed walking in truth, and tells them to love one another as they had heard from the beginning. Similar to his words in the first epistle, he strongly associates love with walking in the commandments of the Lord, not being able to separate the two. Then he addresses the heretical issue that he had previously addressed in his first letter, the teaching that was going around that Jesus had not come in the flesh, but only in spirit. He calls those who teach this “deceivers” and “antichrists,” and asserts that they do not abide in the teaching of Christ, nor do they have God. John warns his beloved children to not be carried away by this teaching, not even to welcome these teachers into their houses or greet them, lest they be a partaker of their evil deeds (compare with Romans 1:28-32). It is obvious that John saw this as a very dangerous teaching that was disruptive of the faith, and being thus, he writes strong words to oppose this teaching. He saves everything else he wants to talk to them about for a future visit when he hoped to come and talk with them, but writes this that they may not be deceived. Let us too examine what we are being taught to see if it is based in the word of God.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Deuteronomy 16-19.
Walk in truth and love.