Walking Thru The Bible – SECOND & THIRD JOHN – While John does not use his name in these two epistles it is generally accepted by the scholars that the writer is the same as the writer of the first epistle and the Gospel that bears his name – John refers to himself as “the elder” not in the sense in which that word is synonymous with bishop in a local church but in the primary sense of an older or aged person – **John writes to warn this dear sister (or Church congregation) against having her hospitality taken advantage of by the false teachers circulating in the region (PDF)
Recipient of 2nd John: There is a great diversity among the scholars as to whom the letter was really addressed, some think "the elect lady, and her children" meant a particular Christian woman and those who met in her house to worship God. Some believe that either "Electa" or "Lady" may have been her name. If so, this is then a more personal letter than the first epistle. Others believe this reference is simply to a local church and its members. To speak of a church under the figure of a "Lady and her Children" is in no sense unlikely. If the "chosen lady" is a figurative way of designating a particular church, then the "chosen sister" of v.13 would mean a different church, or "sister" congregation. Perhaps as one writer has put it, "the problem of the address is insoluble with our present knowledge." Background of 2nd John: The false philosophy of Gnosticism and its teachers is still the major problem with which this epistles deals. This second epistle had more to do with the practical side of the right attitude to take toward Truth, false doctrine, false teachers and faithful brethren. John writes to warn this dear sister (or congregation) against having her hospitality taken advantage of by the false teachers circulating in the region (vs. 9-11). -- Purpose and Contents of 2nd John: 1) John expresses joy in finding her "children" walking in the truth as they had been commanded of God. This was a cause of joy when so many were being led astray by false teachers. They had been taught to love the truth (2 Thess.2:10-12). That truth had to be discerned and they must continue to walk in it lest they lose those things already accomplished such Traveling preachers, perhaps sent by John, had visited the church and a leader there named Diotrephes had spoken against the Apostle John and had stood against those who had received them. The only reason given for his conduct was that he "loved to have the preeminence." John condemned this haughty and selfish ambition and the envy and jealousy it stirred up in his heart as reflected in his wicked treatment of both John and other brethren. [link]
The Apostle John – There is a church tradition, which says, that when John was evidently an old man in Ephesus, he had to be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples – At these meetings, he was accustomed to say no more than, “Little children, love one another!” – After a time, the disciples wearied at always hearing the same words, asked, “Master, why do you always say this?” – “It is the Lord’s command,” was his reply – “And if this alone be done, it is enough!” – There is, also, a tradition which says that John was in Rome for a time
John was one of the sons of Zebedee (a fisherman of Galilee) and his mother's name was Salome (Salome is believed to be a sister of Jesus' mother, Mary). John, along with his brother (the apostle James) and the apostles Peter and his brother Andrew , were all partners in a fishing business prior to their call by Jesus to follow Him. Zebedee was also a partner in the business. It is said that John owned a home in Jerusalem and that it is possible that the interview Nicodemus had with Jesus was held there. The apostle John rose to a position of influence within world-wide Christianity and shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, he moved to Ephesus. He became the pastor of the church in Ephesus and had a special relationship to other churches in the area, as we know from the letters to the Seven Churches in Asia, in the book of Revelation. John's brother, James, was the first of the apostles to die, where John, on the other hand, was the last. All of the apostles met a violent death, however, John died peacefully in Ephesus, at an advanced age, around the year 100 AD. There is a church tradition, which says, that while John was living in Ephesus, John had with him Mary, the mother of Jesus, for a few years. [link]
2 John 1 – The beloved Disciple John writes his 2nd of three letters – This letter is to admonish a fellow Christian Church not to partake with or to assist just anyone – To be careful and make sure not to accept or to assist in any way any of the many deceivers that are out there attempting to take advantage of the simple Christians — ‘2 John 1:1-4 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.’
The Bible's book of 2 John concludes: 2 John 1:5-13 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. **For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess [agree] not [in words and actions] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. **Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. **If there come any unto you, and bring not this [Christian] doctrine, **receive him not into your house, **neither bid him God speed: **For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister [Church] greet thee. Amen.