They say brevity is the soul of wit. If that’s the case, the apostle John should win a prize for 2 John. At only 245 words in Greek, it is the second shortest book in the New Testament. Despite its brevity, John packs a great deal of insight into these thirteen verses.
To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth—and not only I, but also all who know the truth— (2 John 1:1, CSB)
His letter begins the way most letters began in his day. John identifies himself as the “elder” and the recipient of his letter as “the elect lady and her children.” Commentators differ as to whether or not John is writing to a church and its members or a lady and her family. It makes little difference for our purposes here because we are focussing on what John says to his recipients.
John says he loves these individuals (whomever or how numerous they are) in the truth. Not only that, but all who know the truth love them as well. Truth is more than a philosophical concept. It is a theological one. Jesus identifies himself as the truth (John 14:6). Furthermore, He identifies God’s Word as truth (John 17:17). The truth of Christ and His Word, the truth of the gospel, unites us as believers. In essence, John is saying that as believers, we know the truth. And, as believers who know the truth, we love other believers who love the truth.
In a world filled with so much division, there is no room for it in the church. We can disagree. We can be diverse. But we must not be divided for Christ has bound us together. Jesus is the One who unifies us. It is in Him and through Him we love all who are in Him, regardless of whatever other differences we may hold. We are one in Him. We are one in His Word. We are one in the gospel. All who know Him love those who know Him.
So, if we are in Christ, let us strive by His grace and His power to love those in the truth. Let us love our brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever our other differences may be.