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We know the truth and we live by the truth

The elder: To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth—and not only I, but also all who know the truth— because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever. 2 John 1:1-2 CSB

Here we have John’s second letter, opening with a salutation, with John being known as “the elder,” which does not necessarily mean a position of authority, but rather, one of endearment such as the term “elder statesman.” By this time, John is the last surviving apostle, so he does not refer to himself by this title, instead he uses the term, “elder.” John is addressing his letter “to the elect lady and her children,” which is somewhat ambiguous as to whether or not this lady and her children were actually a family or a metaphor for the church and the congregation in Ephesus, which I tend to lean towards the latter. Due to the widespread persecution of believers because of their faith, John has to use cryptic address to conceal the identity of the recipients of the epistle. In the New Testament, woman is used to denote a congregation or a church. “He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the groom’s voice” (John 3:29). John shows that he cares and loves them “in the truth.” Just in the first three verses of the second epistle, John used the term “truth” four times. This shows how important the term was. It is not only John who wants to express love to the church but everyone “who know the truth.” Without truth, true love does not seem possible. The unifying truth of Jesus Christ (see John 14:6) “remains in us and will be with us forever.” It is the truth that binds John and the believers together. It is the truth that unites Christians for the truth resides in them. Christians just do not know the truth, but they believe the truth, and they live by the truth.


Isaac De Guzman


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