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SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN - Chapter 1 - Verse 10
Verse 10. If there come any unto you. Any professed teacher of religion. There can be no doubt that she to whom this epistle was written was accustomed to entertain such teachers.
And bring not this doctrine. This doctrine which Christ taught, or the true doctrine respecting him and his religion.
Receive him not into your house. This cannot mean that no acts of kindness, in any circumstances, were to be shown to such persons; but that there was to be nothing done which could be fairly construed as encouraging or contenancing them as religious teachers. The true rule would seem to be, in regard to such persons, that, so far as we have intercourse with them as neighbours, or strangers, we are to be honest, true, kind, and just, but we are to do nothing that will contenance them as religious teachers. We are not to attend on their instruction, Pr 19:27; we are not to receive them into our houses, or to entertain them as religious teachers; we are not to commend them to others, or to give them any reason to use our names or influence in propagating error. It would not be difficult to practise this rule, and yet to show to others all the kindness, and all the attention in circumstances of want, which religion demands. A man who is truly consistent is never suspected of countenancing error, even when he is distinguished for liberality, and is ready, like the good Samaritan, to pur in oil and wine in the wounds of any waylaid traveller. The command not to "receive such an one into the house," in such circumstances as those referred to by John, would be probably understood literally, as he doubltless designed that it should be. To do that, to meet such persons with a friendly greeting, would be construed as countenancing their doctrine, and as commending them to others, and hence it was forbidden that they should be entertained as such. This treatment would not be demanded where no such interpretation could be put on receiving a friend or relative who held different and even erroneous views, or in showing kindness to a stranger who differed from us, but it would apply to the receiving and entertaining a professed teacher of religion, as such; and the rule is as applicable now as it was then.
Neither bid him God speed. kai cairein autw mh legete. "And do not say to him, hail, or joy." Do not wish him joy; do not hail, or salute him. The word used expresses the common form of salutation, as when we wish one health, success, prosperity, Mt 26:49; Ac 15:23; 23:26
Jas 1:1. It would be understood as expressing a wish for success in the enterprise in which they were embarked; and though we should love all men, and desire their welfare, and sincerely seek their happiness, yet we can properly wish no one success in a career of sin and error.
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