John’s brief second letter is written to an unnamed lady and her children. He may be writing to a specific lady, perhaps a wealthy lady who hosted a church in her home. He is more likely writing to a local church referred to as a lady, with the members being described as her children.
John’s opening greeting in verse 3 states that grace, mercy, and peace will be with us. For Christians, these are not nice words to hear but empty of meaning.
· From God, we have received grace—the giving of himself for our sake.
· We have received mercy—his kindness when we deserved anything but kindness.
· We have received peace—the order that only God’s grace and mercy can bring to a troubled life in an evil world.
How have we received these wonderful blessings from God the Father? John writes that they come from Christ, in truth and love. Throughout this letter, John ties together the ideas of truth and love. It’s a theme he has emphasized before in his gospel account of Jesus’ life. In describing Jesus, John says he “came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
According to John, God’s blessings are given to us in truth and love. It is not truth without love, nor love lacking in truth. God is fully truthful and fully loving. What a privilege to be on the receiving end of that goodness!
Reflect: Does your life demonstrate that you place an equally high value on truth and love? Ponder how these two work together so perfectly in Christ.