Front Page

Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: The 2nd & 3rd Letters of John

(Return to Framework Contents)


Frameworks: 2 & 3 John 


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a simple comment of what is happening)

FRAMEWORKS: 2 & 3 John

(Summary notes appear at the end of each letter.

Scroll down to 3 John)


2 John

v.1-4 Greeting


v.1 (John the elder at Ephesus. Whether to an individual or a church is unknown. Whoever it is, they are loved by him and all who know them) The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth – and not I only, but also all who know the truth –

v.2 (because they are living ‘in Christ' holding to the truth) because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us for ever:

v.3 (gifts from God abound in the environment of truth and love) Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.

v.4 (he has seen the fruit of it – other new believers) It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.


v.5,6 The Command to Love


v.5 (he reinforces the old command from Jesus to love one another) And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

v.6 (love is revealed through obedience to Jesus) And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.


v.7-11 Reason & Warning


v.7 (this needs saying because there are many giving false leadership and they are of the enemy ) I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

v.8 (reject them [implied] and hold on to what we have imparted to you) Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.

v.9 (diverting from that, diverts from God) Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

v.10 (if people come with other teaching, reject them) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.

v.11 (if you welcome such people you welcome their lies into your life) Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.


v.12,13 Future Hope & Greeting


v.12 (I want to share so much more but will wait until I can be with you) I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

v.13 (the believers here greet you) The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.


[Letter Synopsis: Echoes from John's first letter suggest this is who is writing and he is an elder at Ephesus near the end of the first century. The cause of his writing is obvious: he worries about the church (individuals or the body) and is aware that there are many around who are bringing heresies and deception that is leading believers astray. He is going notice of coming to see them sometime but for the moment he wants them to hold on to the fundamental teaching of loving one another. It is that simple in the church. In this very simple letter we see the communication that went on between individuals in the Christian community as well as between churches and the works of the enemy they were continually having to combat.]



3 John


v.1 (from John, an elder of Ephesus, to an unknown [to us] individual) The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.


v.2-4 About his feelings for Gaius


v.2 (he brings warm wishes) Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, just as you are progressing spiritually.

v.3 (he's been talked about by mutual acquaintances) It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.

v.4 (it brings him great joy, what he's heard) I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.


v.5-10 The Apostles received & Rejected


v.5 (he applauds his faithful love and concern for [what seems] some of the apostolic team that has come to him…) Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you.

v.6 (… who have told about his love) They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honours God.

v.7 (they came to serve God with no support from the world) It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.

v.8 (generally we ought to support such servants of the Lord) We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

v.9 (he had already written to the church [where Gaius obviously was] but the leader who doesn't accept outside ministry well, wouldn't welcome the team) I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes , who loves to be first, will not welcome us.

v.10 (so when he comes there he will challenge his malicious gossip about them, and his tendency to isolationism ) So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.


v.11-14 Encouragement & Hope


v.11 (don't copy such men [implied] and only seek to do good) Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

v.12 (another leader [presumably] is very different and everyone speaks well of him) Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone – and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.

v.13 (I want to write more but I'll wait until I see you) I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.

v.14 (I'm hoping to come soon so know God's peace in the meantime. Greetings from those here.) I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.


[Letter Synopsis: John writes to a believer who is clearly a loved friend who is in a church somewhere where some of the apostolic team want to go. However one of the leaders there who dislikes contacts with others, feels threatened by the thought of these men coming and has rebuffed John. There is another leader there who is very different and who John commends. John commends his friend and warns against this negative leader and says he hopes to come to them in the near future. This simple little letter shows us the interaction that went on across the Church and the apostolic role that John still played even in old age.]