|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:4-6 It is good to be trained to early religion; and children may be beloved for their parents' sake. It gave great joy to the apostle to see children treading in their parents' steps, and likely in their turn to support the gospel. May God bless such families more and more, and raise up many to copy their example. How pleasing the contrast to numbers who spread irreligion, infidelity, and vice, among their children! Our walk is true, our converse right, when according to the word of God. This commandment of mutual Christian love, may be said to be a new one, in respect of its being declared by the Lord Christ; yet, as to the matter, it is old. And this is love to our own souls, that we obey the Divine commands. The foresight of the decay of this love, as well as of other apostacies, or fallings away, might engage the apostle to urge this duty, and this command, frequently and earnestly.
Verse 4. - I rejoice greatly that I have found (certain) of thy children walking in truth. The Revised Version is certainly right in rendering εὕρηκα "I have found" rather than "I found;" and it is probably right in rendering ἐχάρην "I rejoice" rather than "I rejoiced." It looks like the idiomatic "epistolary aorist," of which we have had probable instances in 1 John 2:21 and 26. In this idiom the point of view of the recipient of the letter is taken instead of that of the writer. In Latin the imperfect is used in a similar way - scribebam, dabamus; and sometimes the perfect, scripsi, misi, and the like (comp. Acts 23:30; Philippians 2:25, 28; Philemon 1:11, 19, 21. See Moulton's Winer, page 347). We are probably to understand this verse as a gentle intimation on the part of the elder that he has reason to know that certain others of her children are not walking in truth. Through the elect lady's too indiscriminate hospitality, some of her children have been seduced by the deceivers who have come to her bringing other doctrine than that of Christ.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children,.... Not all, but some of them; for good parents have not always good children, or at least not all of them; Adam had a Cain, Abraham an Ishmael, and Isaac an Esau: God is pleased to show his discriminating grace in tribes and families, by taking some, and leaving others: it is a great mercy when any are called by grace, and instead of the fathers are the children: and this was the case of some of the children of this elect lady, they were
walking in the truth: in Christ, the truth, by faith, as they had received him; and in the truth of the Gospel, as they had embraced and professed it; they abode in it, and by it, and made a proficiency in the knowledge of it, which may be signified by walking, that being a progressive action: as also they walked according to it, and as became it; and likewise they walked in the truth of Gospel worship, discipline, and ordinances:
as we have received a commandment from the Father; and which has been made known by Jesus Christ, as his mind and will. Now as it is matter of joy and gladness to godly parents when their children walk in the paths of faith, truth, and holiness, so it is also to ministers of the Gospel, as well as to the angels in heaven; it gives them an inward pleasure and joy, and which is not only expressed by them, to such children and their parents, but is also abundant by many thanksgivings unto God.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. I found—probably in one of his missionary tours of superintendence. See Introduction, at the end, and 2Jo 12; 3Jo 10, 14.
of thy children—some.
in truth—that is, in the Gospel truth.
as—even as. "The Father's commandment" is the standard of "the truth."
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