John’s greeting is interesting, we seem to be dropping in on a conversation between John and some woman. However, it’s hypothesized that the “elect lady” is actually a church body. Tough to be certain. And John, as in his first letter, uses pronouns in such a way that it is difficult to understand who it refers to.
The contents of this letter are familiar to those who have read 1st John. He kicks off with a reminder to love one another and that to love is to walk according to his commandments. And, as we have heard before, there are deceivers out there who don’t walk in truth and we are to be careful to not be deceived by them. They are the antichrists, again, because they are against the Messiah.
In fact, John goes so far as to say that you shouldn’t even receive someone into your house or give him a greeting. By doing so, you’re taking part in the “wicked works”. Tricky. We are here on the King’s business, and although that means loving people, loving people is defined by John as following God’s commandments. So we probably need to be careful that we don’t stray from the Biblical understanding of love (which obviously goes beyond John’s definition to include sacrifice and mercy and forgiveness and grace, but it can’t include sacrificing fealty to Jesus in the process.)
John ends with talking about coming to visit face to face. Letter ends with, “the children of your elect sister greet you”, which makes a strong case for “lady” and “sister” being churches, as John is obviously speaking on behalf of the latter group. Makes more sense as a church.
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