The ‘elect lady’ is John’s playful way of referring to the local church. He might have also used this way of speaking to avoid the authorities persecuting the Christians understanding that the letter was written to a church. We assume he is thinking of the churches in the areas around Ephesus in the late A.D 80’s or early A.D 90’s.
2 John and 3 John go together. 2 John deals with the danger of openness to any and every teaching and 3 John with the danger of isolationism. 2 John is concerned with the truth. The Truth is the Jesus come in the flesh. The truth is the message that turns the community to one of love and purity. They, the readers, should be careful not to let anyone who brings some other teaching have a pulpit or influence. The truth is to be protected by every person who makes up the ‘elect lady’ – us.
Pic: St. John the Evangelist at Patmos – Alonzo Cano (1645)