Friday, December 21, 2012

Second & Third John

Because John’s second and third letters are so short, I’m reviewing them as one book.  There are indications within his letters that he may have written many short letters like these.

The second letter is addressed to an “elite lady.”  This may have been a specific woman who hosted a church in her home or it may be a reference to the church.  It is a letter of encouragement.  He reminds his friend, probably friends since it was likely the letter would be read aloud in church, that we must love one another.  He also reiterates the importance of the incarnation of Christ.

The third letter is addressed to Gaius.  John commends Gaius for taking care of faithful teachers and missionaries who traveled by his home.  Gaius even had a reputation for being generous to strangers.  John wrote of a man who sought to hold a high position in his local church, so he refused to have John’s letters read or receive his emissaries.  He even forbid others to do so and ran them out of church if they did.  John then mentions the faithfulness of Demetrius, so it could be that this is a letter of introduction and John’s way of asking Gaius to help Demetrius as he stops there during his travels.

In both letters, John emphasizes and praises practical, active love.  Real love is backed up with deeds.

John also wrote

Second John.  The Holy Bible.  New King James Version.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.
Third John.  The Holy Bible.  New King James Version.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.

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