Second John gets right to it, right away in verse 1.
“…whom I love in the truth…”
Love and Truth go together from the start.
2 John was written to encourage those in the faith to continue seeking and sharing truth (and to be weary of those sharing falsities). What strikes me every time I read it is how much truth and love are both found and needed when walking with God.
God’s Love is Truth
The apostle John used the word “truth” at least thirty-seven times in his letters (source). In 2 John alone, we see the word “truth” five times (in just thirteen verses).
Guess what else? In 2 John alone, we see the word “love” five times.
Love and Truth. Truth and Love.
Another interesting aspect is that love is always accompanied by obedience.
When we love, we follow God’s commands.
When we love, we obey His laws (and see and give joy; Psalm 1:2, 2 John 1:4).
When we love, we see and follow and walk in truth.
God’s Truth is Love
2 John 1:6 says:
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.”
We already know that God’s commands are truth (Psalm 119:151). So if we walk in those commands? We walk in truth.
But then 2 John 1:6 goes on to say more about that walking in truth:
“As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”
What is His command? To walk in love.
Then John even tells us why he writes this: there are false teachers out there. There are people who are not seeking truth and love, yet try to sway others to their views anyway.
So we have to be cautious. We have to have wisdom. We have to seek truth and love.
Thankfully, we have help in our fellow believers, our fellow truth-seekers, our fellow love-walkers, and in God’s Word and love.
Extra Bible Study This Week
- Read through 1 John 4, and then read 2 John again. What strikes you most about truth and love?
- Read through a commentary on 2 John. (There are many great physical book commentaries out there, and here’s an online version.) What historical cultural information helps you understand John’s writing?
- Pray for truth and love in abundance. How can you spread joy through truth and love this week?