SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- John, who refers to himself as “the elder,” is writing to a woman about traveling teachers. In that day Christian teachers would travel among churches and could rely on the hospitality of people in the local church. But others were taking advantage of this generosity. John is probably referring to Gnostic teachers who twisted the truths of Christianity to fit their own philosophy. (To learn more about this, see our post on 1 John 1.)
- John instructs the reader not to extend hospitality to these people.
- John also continues in his themes from his letter we just read (called 1 John), that love for God means that we obey his commands and love people (verses 5-6).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- One principle we learn in this short letter is that we need to be able to discern right teaching from false teaching. Before believing everything a teacher says, we should test it by comparing it to the teachings of the Bible. This means we need to know the Bible. And we need to seek to understand Bible verses in context, so that we won't be deceived by Bible verses that people might use out of context.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- How are you doing at growing in your understanding of the Bible? The fact that you're using this post is a good sign! It's so important for us to consistently read the Bible and continue to expand our knowledge and understanding of it. Not only will we better know God and the way of life he has for us, we'll also be able able to discern (and avoid) false teaching.