By Mike Chaffin
12Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13 The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen. 2 John
The Apostle John’s second letter is to a church in another city. The church is unnamed but is likely one of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation. While this letter is only 13 verses long, John tells us he has many things to say and teach them. John doesn’t want his words to be misinterpreted by the reader so his desire to speak to people face to face. He was a people person.
Being a people person is likely what got him solitary confinement on the Isle of Patmos. The Roman officials couldn’t kill him, they had tried, so the worst thing they could think to do to him was isolate him from the church. As his last words state, speaking face to face leads to joy.
Jesus spoke about the fullness of joy in John 15:1-12,
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John let’s us know we can’t show true love in a letter, we must be serving people by being with people. Doing trumps saying. The church lives in community and we are part of that community.
The bulk of the letter is a warning to this church about false teachers. We are instructed to slam the door in the face of a false teacher, have nothing to do with them, and not support them in any way. Jesus didn’t mince words about false teachers and John doesn’t either. Darkness cannot reside with light. Light drives it out, figuratively and literally.
Jesus came and died on the cross and rose again so we could have eternal life. He gave His life so our joy could be full. The message of the cross is one full of agony for Christ, but joy for you and me. That is the message John wants the reader to remember.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you bring us joy. Your Holy Spirit living in us fills us with joy every day. We only need to ask and receive so our joy can be full. Help me to remember that when things are going bad to stop and give you thanks for the mighty works you have done and to ask for a new refilling of joy. In Jesus’s name, amen.