Verse 7 of II John: An Analysis

“Many deceivers have come into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

The point of this exercise is to ask the question: was Jesus merely a created being, albeit a very special one, or was he actually God? Of all the people in the world, the Apostle John probably knew the earthly Jesus as well as anyone. Did he believe Jesus was God or did he believe Jesus was just a human being capable of incredible and seemingly impossible actions?

Let’s say he believed the latter. In that case, it wouldn’t make sense for John to get too terribly upset about people saying Jesus had not come in the flesh. Spreading stories like that would only elevate the status of Jesus and make people more likely to believe and follow what he had to say. The Old Testament is adamant about not worshiping other human beings. Maybe John himself would never directly say Jesus did not come in the flesh, but it’s likely he wouldn’t waste too much valuable time denying it either.

But on the other hand, if John believed Jesus was actually God in the flesh, who had lowered himself to the level of mortal humanity, so that he could live, suffer and die in order to save mankind, then you can understand why John would denounce those he classified as deceivers. For if Jesus had not come in the flesh, then he could have neither lived nor died in the flesh. It would be all a sham.

No wonder John was more than a little peeved. (SMN)