Part 119 - 2 John 4
Walking in the truth
. This second epistle of John’s is seldom read but is rather lovely. It gives us a view into the very early church. We don’t know who the writer was - probably not the same John as the writer of the Gospel and the first letter since he calls himself the ‘elder’ and not the apostle as he surely would have done had he been one. It is also unclear who the ‘lady chosen by God’ was. Most probably it is a way of referring to a local church rather than a person.
We have this delightful phrase in verse 4, “walking in the truth“ as the commendation of the members of the church. All too often the various translators have in many places translated the word meaning ‘walking’ by ‘living’ because that is clearly what it is a picture of. But in doing so much is lost. One can ‘live’ sitting in a chair or lying in bed all day while walking strongly implies activity and progress.
We, my wife and I, made a conscious decision when we retired from active work that we would go for a walk every day to avoid slowly getting less and less fit. Of course, as the years have passed we have slowly got less and less fit anyway but we would have done so much quicker had we not determined to keep moving as long as possible.
What is true in the physical world is also true in the spiritual world. We need to keep moving, moving towards our ultimate goal of being with Jesus in the life of the ages. This we can do in many ways according to our abilities and gifts. You may become much more regular in the prayer meetings and other meetings of your church than you have ever been able to be as you were working fulltime (without intending to I have slipped into thinking about the situation of those entering retirement. You will need to translate what I say into a more appropriate language if you are much younger!). You may be able to help in the practical tasks involved in a church. You may be able to help with the outreach tasks as well, door to door work, visiting places with the gospel, perhaps - if you are fortunate like me with these short ‘gems’- doing something with a directly Bible teaching ministry.
An old wartime song exhorted people to ‘keep right on to the end of the road, keep right on to the end’. That is excellent advice for us all in a spiritual sense. And, of course, I don’t actually need to look for secular encouragements. 1 John 2: 6 would say “walk as he walked” if they hadn’t gone and translated the ‘walks’ as ‘liveds’ (see what I mean)!, or we can go to Isaiah 2: 3 where it says, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
John has said we are to walk in the way of truth. By ‘truth’ he means in the way set out by Jesus. Jesus did plenty of walking, backwards and forwards through Galilee and on frequent visits to Jerusalem.
Let us walk - easily the most enjoyable way of getting around either in the country or in the Kingdom of Jesus. The Pilgrim’s Progress (a famous old book written centuries ago) should never be restricted to one man’s story. It is to be the experience of all of us – you and me! Together – see you on the path.
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