“THE ELDER, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth…”
whom I love in truth,
“Love” here is not romantic love. “Whom” is in the plural, making reference to both the “elect lady” and her “children.” John loves these people “in truth.”
Jn 17: 17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
The “I” is emphatic in the Greek. It may be that the heretics did not love the church at Ephesus but merely preyed on them.
“Truth” and “love” are the two major subjects of 2 John. Christian love is more than mere sentiment. It revolves around the structure of truth. John loves the “elect lady” and her children in the sphere of truth.
John loves people within the framework of the “truth.” He reiterates the word “truth” five times in the first four verses. “Truth” refers to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, so truth is the essential prerequisite for fellowship.
Ti 3: 15 “All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.”
and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth
Many others knowledgeable of the truth and operating in the sphere of truth also love the “elect lady” and her children. We love the truth because we came to know Truth Himself.
1 Ti 2: 4 “…who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
True Christian love revolves around the structure of truth.
Christians do not love each other because they are temporarily compatible or naturally drawn to each other, but because of the truth they share with each other. Unbelievers can come to know the truth of Christianity in a casual sense, but not in a true and genuine sense.
Biblical love is always conditioned by truth. This love is more than mere sentiment. It does not lean on the attractiveness of its object. It rests on the Truth Himself, Jesus the Lord. Christian love rests on Christian truth. We cannot compromise truth and genuine love biblically. Biblical truth and love closely interrelate. They are inseparable traveling companions. Genuine love cannot exist apart from Bible truth. They can never be divorced.