1From the church leader.#1 church leader: Or “elder” or “presbyter.”
To a very special woman and her children.#1 very special woman and her children: A group of the Lord's followers who met together for worship. “The children of your … sister” (see verse 13) is another group of followers. “Very special” (here and verse 13) probably means “chosen (by the Lord).” I truly love all of you, and so does everyone else who knows the truth. 2We love you because the truth is now in our hearts, and it will be there forever.
3I pray that God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son will be kind and merciful to us! May they give us peace and truth and love.
Truth and Love
4I was very glad to learn that some of your children are obeying the truth, as the Father told us to do. 5#Jn 13.34; 15.12,17. Dear friend, I am not writing to tell you and your children to do something you have not done before. I am writing to tell you to love each other, which is the first thing you were told to do. 6Love means we do what God tells us. And from the beginning, he told you to love him.
7Many liars have gone out into the world. These deceitful liars are saying Jesus Christ did not have a truly human body. But they are liars and the enemies of Christ. 8So be sure not to lose what we#8 we: Some manuscripts have “you.” have worked for. If you do, you won't be given your full reward. 9Don't keep changing what you were taught about Christ, or else God will no longer be with you. But if you hold firmly to what you were taught, both the Father and the Son will be with you. 10#3 Macc 2.33. If people won't agree to this teaching, don't welcome them into your home or even greet them. 11Greeting them is the same as taking part in their evil deeds.
12I have much more to tell you, but I don't want to write it with pen and ink. I want to come and talk to you in person, because this will make us#12 us: Some manuscripts have “you.” really happy.
13Greetings from the children of your very special sister.#13 sister: See the note at verse 1.