Examination of 2 John 10-13
2 John 10-11 New American Standard Bible
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
This teaching John is referring to is the doctrine and truth taught by the apostles concerning the deity and truth of Jesus Christ. The apostles were commissioned by the Lord to set the foundation of the church. The foundation was built upon Jesus Christ and the truth found in Him. A right understanding of Jesus Christ is key and essential in a right relationship with God The Father.
Apostle means one who is sent and today God is still sending forth His messengers into different areas of the world to establish churches and continue to build the kingdom. But the original apostles had a very special call and anointing on their lives. They were being used by God to actually write scripture and carried incredible authority given to them by Jesus Christ. As believers today in Jesus Christ we have authority in Him. But it would be very wrong for anyone today to call themselves an apostle in the context of the original apostles.
John says that if they do not bring the teaching of the apostles to not receive them into your house and do not give them a greeting. John is speaking of the practice of hospitality. Since the early church often met in people’s homes, receiving a minister into one’s home showed support for that minister of the gospel. False teachers would deceitfully try to find their way into homes to corrupt early Christians with their teaching. They were under the influence of the enemy and we simply messengers of darkness who were masquerading themselves as messengers of light.
Those who received them into their home showed through their actions that they supported their ministry. If they received a false teacher into their home that did not hold to sound doctrine, they were no better than the false teachers of their day and would share in their guilt of leading people astray. It is important to see how Jesus truly feels about false teachers. He said it would be better to have a mill stone tied around one’s neck and cast into the depths of the sea than to lead one of these little one’s astray (Matt 18:6).
Hospitality is commanded over and over again in scripture and it was an essential practice in the early church. Showing hospitality was showing support of one’s ministry. Today we must still be guarded against false teachers and prophets. Allowing them opportunity to teach in our churches and bible studies without properly vetting people is a very dangerous practice. No matter how well we think we know someone, we need to thoroughly vet someone and not be quick to lay hands on anyone.
2 John 12 New American Standard Bible
12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made complete.
John here shows us the importance of person-to-person fellowship. Our world is a world that is disconnected in so many ways. Because of social media and technology, we have become an isolated culture and because of this many are suffering.
Even within the church people have fail to understand the importance of in person fellowship. Many people have chosen to simply spend their days online, disconnected from fellowship in the body of Christ. Yes, we may be able to be spiritually fed through a screen by high quality bible teachers, but when we are disconnected from in person fellowship, there is something very supernatural we miss out on in the body of Christ.
There were many other things that John desired to teach those he was writing to. It explains the brevity of his letter. His desire was not to communicate the truths of Christ by ink and paper, his desire was to do so face to face. When we are in the presence of other believers, the presence of the Lord is with us. He has told us where two or three are gatherer, He is there. When we come together as a people and give our hearts over to the Lord, the presence of the Lord will fill our lives, and we will experience one of the great gifts of being part of the body of Christ: fellowship.
Those who are of the world and not of Christ know nothing of true fellowship. When we are lost in the world, we may associate with people who are like minded. But sadly, if our fellowship is based on the things of darkness the presence and love of God will be absent from our gathering. Yes, we may gather together, but true fellowship will not be experienced.
When fellow believers in Christ come together the Lord is in our midst. When our hearts and minds are fixed upon the desire and pursuit to know truth, the Lord will touch us and bring understanding. This was John’s desire. As an elder and spiritual father in the body of Christ, his desire was to rightly instruct the believers of his day in the truth of Jesus Christ. The truth of Christ will always be the target of the enemy. For when we have a right understanding of Jesus, we will be in right relationship with the Father.
2 John 13 New American Standard Bible
13 The children of your chosen sister greet you.
The children that John is most likely referring to here are believers in Christ of a local church. The chosen sister speaks of the local body of believers and the children are the members of that church. Some interpret John’s letter here to be to an actual woman and her children. But when we examine the entire letter and the language John uses, it is clear that John is referring to a local church and the members of that local church.
The body of Christ is known as the bride of Christ. We have been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus. Every local body of believers is important to the Lord. His desire is that every church would be effective and influential for Him and His kingdom. The key to being a light in the darkness is holding firmly to the truth of scripture and the truth of who Jesus is. Those who compromise truth will fail to be a light in the darkness and instead will reflect the world and its desires. Satan’s desire is to kill, steal, and destroy and often when he targets a church he tries to do so from the inside out. Through the use of false teachers, the enemy will try to corrupt the hearts and minds of the children of God. But we must daily spend time in God’s word and build our lives upon sound biblical doctrine.