Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
– 2 John 1:9-11 NASB
The very short second and third letters from the apostle John are found near the end of the New Testament. To say “second John” is to speak of John’s second letter.
Sometimes a prepositional phrase can be ambiguous in meaning. For example, in the passage above does “the teaching of Christ” mean “the teaching that is about Christ” or does it mean “the teaching that Christ taught“? Fortunately for us, it means both.
The entire New Testament can be called “the teaching of Christ” because it is all about Christ – His life, His death, and His resurrection from the dead. From Matthew to Revelation, we learn about Christ. Even in the words of Christ Himself, He is teaching us about Himself – such as, saying, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Therefore, the apostle John is warning His readers that it is this teaching about Christ that ought to be the focal point of all their thought about God. Christ!
On the other hand, if we take “the teaching of Christ” to mean the teaching that Christ taught, it would be found in the words He spoke. Yet this goes hand in hand with making Christ Himself the focus. For how can we make Christ the focus if we leave His words out of that focus? As we have seen in one of our daily devotions:
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
– Luke 6:46 NASB (emphasis added)
Truly, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Christ, including the things He said. If the Bible is to be our guide, we must stay focused on Christ.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Christ, Your apostles have told us about You – what they saw and what they heard when You walked the earth and lived in their midst. We have accepted their testimony; we believe it with all our hearts. I will live my life today fully trusting in that testimony.…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.