April 12, 2015
He calls himself “The Elder” and we don’t even discover that much about him unless we read into the second and third letters that bear his name. Elder is an appropriate name for him. John was an old man. He’d seen a lot happen in his long life. He’d been one of the first followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and he had seen the risen Lord with his own eyes. John had somehow survived the persecutions that had erupted in the early years of the church. Most of the other apostles had died, and a second generation of leaders had stepped up to keep telling the good news.
Based in Ephesus, John served as the pastor for a network of house churches that were scattered over the region. These were churches that had been established by the Apostle Paul, and now John was left in charge of them. He had already written his account of the Good News, but it had been a few years since those words made their way through the community, encouraging the church with the story of Jesus.
In the meantime, false teachers had tried to lead the believing community astray. They had twisted the gospel message, and were teaching people that Jesus had not been a real person. Some had even left the church, Continue reading