There is a lot of speculation as to who this “elect lady” is. Some take this literally as a specific individual. I thought I’d read through the letter this time with the mindset that “elect lady” is a metaphor for the church and “her children” as those who are in it. This type of language wouldn’t be uncommon and the “you” at the end of the letter are plural. This would also mean that “the children of your sister” are referring to their sister church, who are chosen by God.
This letter dates around 90 A.D. and persecution of Christians in Asia Minor was on the rise. This is my speculation but it could be possible that John is writing with this kind of language in order to not draw attention to where community of believers might be meeting. Persecutors might not pay as much attention to a woman and her children. John has more to say to them but wants to speak to them in person. Writing too much about Christ could draw unwanted attention. Like I said…this is my speculation.
Truth about Jesus coming in the flesh is essential for Christians. John warns not to accept any teaching that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh and not to accept the teacher. Jesus had to come in the flesh in order to die. He had to die in order to be resurrected. He had to be resurrected for us to have any hope that we too will have death conquered and be resurrected ourselves.
From the very beginning Christians were called to walk in love. Have we deviated from this command? How can we go about loving one another more so than we do now? John says this is what has been taught from the beginning. Let’s put this command into practice more fully each day than we have the day before. This is how we become the first century church more and more.