2 and 3 John

Before Reading.

  • Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.

Reading.

  • Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
  • Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
  • Take a note if you have question, inspiration.   

Read 2 and 3 John

2 and 3 John was written by different author from the gospel of John or 1 John, in that the writer of 2 John identified himself as “Elder.” The elder might be a respected member of the faith community or one who held an office of church leadership. The elder was pleased to see some walking in the truth as God commanded. And he expressed two exhortations.

Love one another (5-6) — Love commandment is the same theme as it is in 1 John. The commandment to love is not new. It is from the beginning (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1-4). “Lady,” (5) is specified recipients of this letter.

Do away with deceivers (7-11) — Deceivers were false teachers who denied that Jesus Christ was fully human. Gnosticism and Docetism were two main false teachings at that time. The former denied the humanity of Jesus, the latter taught that Christ seemed to be human. Both of them were antichrist. The elder warned strongly that they should not welcome deceivers.

This closing remark (12-13) echoes the closing of John 20:30 and 21:25, “even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

3 John was a personal letter for specific person, Gaius, who would be a leader of the church, to address specific problem which was division and power struggles.

Prayer of benediction (1-4) – The elder prayed for good health, well-being of the soul. He praised Gaius and congregation for their faithfulness, walking in the truth.

Hospitality (5-8) — “brothers,” “strangers,” indicate itinerant preachers circulated among the churches at his time. They depended upon the hospitality of the churches they visited.

Problem of abusive power (9-12) — the elder pointed out the problem in the congregation caused by Diotrephes, and by his self-seeking slanders. Diotrephes did not extend hospitality to the itinerant preachers, and worse, he had expelled from the congregation those who welcomed them. Abusive power practice and divisiveness was the problem that the elder pointed out to Gaius. Demetrius was probably the messenger who carried the letter to Gaius.

Closing remark (13-15) – The elder expressed that he had much more things to say and hoped to visit Gaius soon.

After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.

  • Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
  • Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
  • Live it out through the day.

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