Sunday, August 25, 2013
Walk in Truth
2John 1 ¶ The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth,
2John 2 because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
2John 3 ¶ Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
2John 4 ¶ I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father.
If you read the commentators you will discover that there are differing views regarding this Epistle. Most all agree that "The elder" is again John and that he is the author. The problem lies in the one to whom it is addressed, "the elect lady and her children." Many of the early Church leaders believed that this was a particular woman, and more than likely a noble woman. God was working in a variety of ways to spread the good news of Jesus around the known world. One way was that a handful of noble women were coming to know Christ. More than likely a woman like this was a widow for it was in this way that a woman could gain control of a financial estate and become very wealthy and powerful within the Empire. Most women married at a young age -- possible 14-16 years of age. The men, however, were usually at least 30 years of age, having had time to complete their education and become accomplished in life. In this way they were then prepared to take a young bride into the home so that together they could bear children. The sad truth was that often the men didn't live to a ripe old age and because the woman was already considerably younger, it was not uncommon to have wealthy widows with a household of full of young people. Let's consider this scenario for this Epistle for it does fit historically. Even John Wesley agrees that this is the most probable explanation for this letter.
A woman with this kind of resource was a boon to the church for the church could meet in her home and her children would be a great draw to the faith. Children such as these would have been extremely well educated and could have had influence at high levels within the government. No wonder the author, the elder, encourages the abiding in truth. Jesus is truth. Sadly there were false preachers traveling the countryside spreading some false versions of the gospel. This elder wanted to make certain that the truth about Jesus be taught correctly among the people. Imagine his joy at knowing that this woman of noble character was holding firm to the faith she knew was the truth and that this truth, the walking in Christ, was continuing on in the lives of her children.
The story is for all -- for we are all challenged to walk in the truth. It doesn't matter if we are a man or a woman, or even an entire church congregation. The temptation exists for us to wander away from the truth and to be enticed by the teachings of those whom we might find more appealing. The problem is that anytime we turn away from Christ being in the center of our teaching, then we turn away from truth. Anything that does not point to Christ is not truth.
Now, imagine our noble matron as an example to us. What would happen if there were those of us, male or female, who were wholly devoted in service to God with everything that we own. For this woman it probably included her home. Her home literally became a place of worship -- she gave up her personal space to be used in service to God. Beyond that, she gave up her children in service to God. What would happen if godly mothers purposely raised children with the best education possible so that they could, in a sense, infiltrate the very highest places in government and in places of power to purposely be an influence for Christ. You know it had to happen because just about 200 years later the entire Empire converted to Christianity.
Are we that intentional today? Do we purposely arrange everything about our lives to be in service to God? That's what it means to be walking in truth. To walk on a daily basis with Jesus Christ, for he is Truth, means that all that we have and all that we are is completely and totally given over in sacrificial service to God on high! He wants you and he wants me to be as devoted to him as this dear elect lady. Now is the time to walk in truth.
Lord, may I today, and everyday walk in the light of your truth. Amen.