Verse 12: Since we have called this series of lessons “New Testament Postcards.” What John is saying is that he has more to say than would fit on one sheet of papyrus. So he wants to come and express his thoughts personally where he is not bound by having to be brief in a letter.

     John had many things to write. However, he thought it best to simply come and present the truth to her. The expression “face to face” means “mouth to mouth” (Num. 12:8;Jer. 32:4). Face to face communication is generally the best. Spoken words are not as easily misunderstood as written words because we can hear the tone of one’s voice, the expression on one’s face, and their body language. All of these things help to convey information and intent.

     Verse 13– John refers to the nieces and/or nephews of the “Elect Lady” in verse 1 who sent their greetings via John. If you hold to the view that the “Chosen Lady” refers to a local congregation, then these are the members of the congregation where John serves. Both views may be right.


Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.