2 John 1

This devotional is written by Nandhini Sureshkumar.

2 John 1

The elder,

To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth - and not I only, but also all who know the truth - 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us for ever:

3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.

4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.


It’s an unmissable fact that 2 John 1 is enriching at multiple dimensions for a reader. It’s structured as a letter to a ‘Chosen lady’ and her children. At one level the message contained in this letter is extremely important to us but it is also important to note the approach used by John in conveying the message.

Unless the receiver is in the right mind set, a good counsel may not have the desired impact. If delivered even a bit forcefully, it could make them defensive. At the other extreme, if excessively sugar coated, it could make them complacent. The approach by John is an excellent lesson in the act of striking a fine balance.

In the initial part of the letter, John praises the lady and her children for living according to the truth as God had commanded. An acknowledgement of the fact that they’re on the right track. He then goes on to urge them to act further by reminding them of God’s commandment to love one another. In this exhortation and in the explanation that follows lies the key message of the letter. While opening our hearts to love one another, we should be aware of the subtle lies and distortions of the truth that some people may use to deceive us. In the final part of the letter, the message for those living by Christian faith is to ring fence themselves from those who undermine the very foundation on which such love is built (which is Christ). In essence, 2 John 1 urges us to love one another but with a subtle warning on not to be led astray by those people who doubt Jesus Christ or the Christian faith.

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