Considering that 2 John is only 13 verses long, you probably thought this blog would only be a few sentences. You were wrong. Although it’s a very short letter, it’s jammed with tons of great truth. I like to think of it like a cream-filled donut. It may look a little bland from the outside, but once you bite in, you realize it’s filled with creamy goodness. In the case of 2 John, it’s not creamy goodness, but Christ-y goodness…
By the number of verses, 2 John is the shortest book in the Bible, but by number of words, 3 John has it beat.
2 John was written by John to a lady within a young, Christian church. It’s valuable to us today because it gives us a little peek into early churches – their structure and their struggles.
One main challenge that every church faces today is unity and love for one another. If churches that existed within 60 years of Jesus’ ministry struggled with it, it would make sense that we’d struggle with it today.
That’s one of John’s main reasons for writing…
“And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.” – 2 John 5 ESV
LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
That’s easy to do with people you agree with and see eye-to-eye with, but what about the others? What about the people who just seem to rub you the wrong way? What about those who seem condescending or constantly critical? Should we love them too?
The answer is of course, YES!
Jesus talked often about the importance of loving each other.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35 NKJV
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” – John 17:20-21 NKJV
It’s easy to blow past the importance of Jesus’ prayer in John 17. He’s praying for us, first of all (“those who will believe in Me…”), so that’s huge right there! He goes on to say that unity within the body of Christ and love for each other is so vital that it will prove Jesus’ identity to the world!
The world is full of personal grudges, selfishness, and people out for their own agendas. The church MUST be different.
Not only should we guard against division, but also false teaching. Peter talked a lot about that in 2 Peter, but here John points out that “many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 7 NKJV).
Whenever you encounter someone of a different belief, the first question to ask is “what do they think of Jesus?” Many cults and religions sound innocent at first, but once they deny Jesus’ incarnation (like what John addressed here), or begin saying other weird, non-Biblical things about Him, that’s where you have to draw the line. Those teachings are dangerous and must not be allowed in the church.
If you’re a Christian, I assume you attend a church. If not, start there. You NEED the Church and the Church needs you! When you’re part of a church, guard against division and false teaching. Satan uses those often to destroy. Don’t let him!