7/7/12 V. 1, The elder is John himself. He was obviously well known enough that he didn’t even need to use his own name. And it may have been for the sake of secrecy given the persecution of Christians at the time. That would be the reason for the enigmatic greeting as well. Who was the chosen lady. Some believe it was an individual, as the Roman authorities who may have had occasion to read the letter would have thought. But the Christians of that time had their own code using symbols in which they could speak of religious things without being caught.
When one studies Revelation and the OT prophets the chosen or elect lady is clearly a reference to God’s people, which would have been the Christian church in John’s day. John was writing to a group of believers, the children of the woman.
John loved these church believers as did everyone who believed the unpopular truth.
V. 2, The truth, which is truth itself but could also serve as code for Jesus Christ, lived in the members of the body, as John was so fond of pointing out in all of his writings.
V. 3, John was a representative of God, so as such he brought greetings and blessing from God to his people. Grace, mercy, peace from the Father and the Son.
V. 4, John finds much joy in the fact that the members of the body, or at least many of them, are living in relationship with Jesus as the Father has commanded everyone to do.
V. 5, And without further ado he launches into his favorite topic: Jesus’ command to love each other. The command isn’t new. Indeed it has been around since the beginning. God is love and love has always been the foundation of God’s government.
V. 6, And how do we love each other? Easy. By obeying the things Jesus commanded us. When we do the things of love we actually do love. The Sermon on the Mount is jammed with specifics on how we love each other the way God intends.