2 John 4-6
2 John is one of the three letters by the apostle to his Christian friends. It is interesting that in the brief compass of three verses John writes three times of “walking in the truth.” Obviously he uses the verb in a metaphorical sense because one doesn’t literally “walk” in a concept. The point seems to be that they carry on their daily life in a steady and unhurried manner. They are to “walk” in the truth, not “run” or “skip through.” So much good can be said of a faithful and steadfast life that moves ahead each day under the control of a calm spirit. It is a little bit like the childhood fable of the tortoise and the hare – the hare may be a bit more exciting, the tortoise is the one that gets the job done.
Apparently John had gotten word that some of the younger members of the assembly were “walking in the truth,” content to live balanced lives that showed a commitment to their parents in the Lord. This is how God had instructed the church to live. There may be times for quick action but as an ongoing policy it is the tortoise believer who gets there first. The Father had commanded, not suggested, that this was the way to live as a believing Christian.
In verse 5 John reminds the “dear lady” (the feminine form of the word “Lord”), that is, the church body, that from the beginning God’s desire for the members of the assembly was that they would “love one another.” The importance of love for one another in the church is absolutely basic. Believers are redeemed not simply so they will go to heaven, but so, by the beauty of their mutual concern for one another, they will display a quality of life that will attract others into a relationship with God. (John makes the same point in his gospel: 17:21, 23).
In verse 6 John explains what he means by love. As he puts it, love is a life walked in obedience to all that God had commanded. To love God is to do what God has said. That is simple yet profound, brief yet all-inclusive. In God’s world clarity replaces complexity. The “commands” of which Jesus speaks are not military regulations but loving concern for others. That’s what lies at the heart of God’s desire for man. His plan is that we become like him. We are made in his image for one major reason, and that is so we can relate to him in a personal sense. He wants us to know him.