The Second and Third Epistles of John - Lesson 5

Scripture Passage: 
2 John 1:8-13

                              The Second Epistle of John                                          2 John 1:8-13                                A Stand for Truth (Continued)

  1. THE CLOSE OF THE EPISTLE (2 John 1:12-13)
    1. Many Things To Say (2 John 1:12)
      1. John has so many things he needs to put into his letter to the elect lady that he will not be able to write them with pen and ink.
      2. John trusts that he will be able to come “face to face” with the elect lady.
    2. Fullness of Joy (2 John 1:12)
      1. Fullness of joy is one of the benefits of the victorious Christian life. Scripture shows that this fullness of joy comes through our personal relationship with the Lord.
      2. In Psalm 16:11, we are told, “in thy presence is fullness of joy.”
      3. Our joy is lacking even as Christians as long as we are not drawn close to the Lord. However, when we approach His presence and abide there, we come to know His joy in its full benefits.
      4. John expects to find fullness of joy in his personal meeting with the elect lady. It is only in this face to face encounter that their joy can be complete.
      5. However personal a letter might be, it is still no substitute for the real thing. As we enter the presence of the Lord, so we find His fullness of joy in us (Psalm 16:11).
    3. The Identity of the Children of the Elect Sister (2 John 1:13)
      1. All identities hinge on the identity of the elect lady (2 John 1:1).
      2. If she is a church congregation as some say, then her sister would be a sister church and the children would be members.
      3. It is more likely that the elect lady is a Christian lady of some renown (though unknown by name to us).
      4. In this case, her sister would be a biological sister and the sister’s children would be her nieces and/or nephews.
      5. It seems that some of her sister’s children were with John and were therefore sending their greetings to their aunt.
    4. Ending with an Amen (2 John 1:13)
      1. Of the 21 epistles in the New Testament (from Romans through Jude), 19 end with the last word being “Amen.”
      2. The two exceptions are James and 3 John.
      3. Amen means so be it.
      4. It is a word of approval in many cases.
      5. However, it is also a word of completion. Amen tells us that the message has been given and the correspondence is completed. It is now up to the recipient of the letter to do their part.

                        The Third Epistle of John                                     Introduction

  1. THE STATISTICS
    1. 1 Chapter, 14 Verses, 294 Words
    2. 64th Book in the Bible, 25th Book in the New Testament
    3. Other Statistics
      1. Next to shortest book in the Bible by number of verses with 14
      2. Shortest book in the Bible by word count with 294
      3. Consider the connections with the number 7:
        1. 3 John is the 28th chapter in the New Testament written by John: that is 4 times 7.
        2. 3 John is the 7th chapter written by John as an epistle.
        3. 3 John has 14 verses: that is 2 times 7.
        4. The average number of words per verse is 21 (3 x 7; and this divides evenly).
        5. The number of different words used (not counting the same word more than once) is 154 (22 x 7).
        6. There are 3 verses (3 John l:4, 7, 8) with 14 words (2 x 7).
        7. There are 2 verses (3 John 1:11, 14) with 28 words (4 x 7).
        8. That means that verse 7 has 14 words and verse 14 has 28 words.
        9. The most prominent key word truth is used 6 times. However, the word true is used once, making a total of 7 times for the concept.
  2. THE HUMAN AUTHOR
    1. Still Unnamed
      1. Never named in the Gospel of John
        1. The disciple who leaned on Jesus’ breast (John 21:20-24)
        2. The disciple whom Jesus loved; often called the beloved disciple
          1. At the Lord’s Supper (John 13:23-26)
          2. At the cross (John 19:26-27)
          3. At the tomb (John 20:1-8)
          4. On the fishing boat (John 21:3-7)
      2. Never named in the Epistles of John
        1. Paul’s epistles all begin with his name except Hebrews.
          1. It is interesting to note that Paul did not begin with his name in his epistle to the Hebrews.
          2. Remember when Moses did not want to go deliver the children of Israel in his own name (Exodus 3:11-14).
        2. James’ epistle begins with his name.
        3. Peter’s epistles begin with his name.
        4. Jude’s epistle begins with his name.
    2. His Life
      1. His name John corresponds to the OT name Jonah and means a dove.
      2. His parents were Zebedee and Salome (Luke 5:10; cp. Matthew 27:56 with Mark 15:40)
      3. He was brother to James (Mark 1:19) who died as a martyr early (Acts 12:1-2).
      4. He was a fisherman (Mark 1:19).
      5. Jesus named James and John “Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17).
      6. He had been a disciple of John the Baptist (Acts 1:22-23).
      7. He was one of the inner circle of three (with James and Peter).
        1. As a witness of the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37)
        2. As a witness of the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9)
        3. As an inquirer of the things to come (Mark 13:3-4)
        4. As a witness to the agonies of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-34)
      8. He was considered a pillar of the early church (Galatians 2:9)
    3. His Writings in the New Testament – compared to other human authors
      1. In number
        1. Paul – 100 chapters (38.5%) –this includes the 13 chapters of Hebrews
        2. Luke – 52 chapters (20.0%) –Luke, Acts
        3. John – 50 chapters (19.2%) –John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation
        4. Matthew – 28 chapters (10.8%)
        5. Mark – 16 chapters (6.2%)
        6. Peter – 8 chapters (3.1%)
        7. James – 5 chapters (1.9%)
        8. Jude – 1 chapter (0.4%)
      2. In classifications
        1. John wrote of the Holy Ghost’s provision for three categories of New Testament writings.
          1. He will “bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26).
          2. He will “teach you all things” (John 14:26) and will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
          3. He will “shew you things to come” (John 16:13).
        2. This corresponds to the three major categories of writing in the New Testament:
          1. Things brought to remembrance are books of History (Matthew through Acts).
          2. The teaching of all things and guidance into all truth are the books called the Epistles (Romans through Jude).
          3. The things to come would refer to the New Testament book of Prophecy (Revelation).
        3. Of the New Testament authors, only John wrote major books in all three categories:
          1. History – the Gospel of John
          2. Teaching – the Epistles of John
          3. Prophecy – the Book of Revelation
  3. THE TIME OF AUTHORSHIP
    1. Demonstrated by the Age of the Apostle
      1. The age of the apostle during the ministry of our Lord
        1. Though we are not given the specifics of the age of John, there are a few things that lead you to believe he was a young man.
        2. When running to the tomb to see the absence of the body of Christ, John outran Simon Peter (John 20:4).
      2. The age of the apostle in the epistles of John
        1. 2 John 1:1 – the elder
        2. 3 John 1:1 – the elder
    2. Demonstrated by the Writing Instruments
      1. Writing with ink and pen
      2. Similar phrasing to 2 John 1:12
  4. PURPOSE AND THEME
    1. Purpose
      1. John was sending some brethren to minister and had sent a letter to Diotrephes in the church where they were going.
      2. Diotrephes had rejected the letter and the brethren (3 John 1:9-10).
      3. Gaius had a reputation for receiving the brethren and ministering to them (3 John 1:5-6).
      4. This letter is sent to encourage him to do so again.
    2. Theme
      1. This epistle deals with a specific problem: the reception and aid of the brethren who will be passing through as they go about their ministry.
      2. In short, this epistle is about the importance of hospitality.
      3. It is a blessed act of love when performed and wickedness when some refuse to do it.
  5. THE DIVISION
    1. The Testimony of Gaius (3 John 1:1-8)
    2. The Treachery of Diotrephes (3 John 1:9-11)
    3. The Task of Demetrius (3 John 1:12-14)
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 16:22

Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.