For Jude, family was not everything. He was the brother of James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem and the son of Joseph and Mary. Being the half-brother of our Lord Jesus he had occasions to watch Him as He grew to manhood, but Jude didn’t come to a saving knowledge of our Lord until after the resurrection. His epistle is meant for the early church but much of it pertains to us today. There were false teachers appearing in the church, just as they are today, telling people one thing which would bring them salvation. But, those “false teachers” were not bold in their speech, they were very subtil in their teaching, containing just enough truth so as not to be recognized.
Jude calls himself “a bondservant of Jesus Christ”, and the brother of James. He doesn’t emphasize that he is the Lord’s half-brother since that would play on the early Church’s devotion to Jesus.
Jude Greetings from Jude
1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called: 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
God’s Judgment on the Ungodly
(Genesis 4:1-7; Romans 2:1-16)
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
A Call to Persevere
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
(Romans 11:33-36; Romans 16:25-27)
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Jude is exhorting the church to stand firm in their faith which they have believed unto salvation and to stand in that faith even when they hear a doctrine which doesn’t go along with what they have been taught before. Stay true to the faith in Jesus Christ whom you have believed!
Don’t turn away from the teachings which you have heard and read from God’s Word during your life as a Christian.
Is this little book relevant today? By all means it is! People don’t want to know the Truth of Scripture because they reject much of the Truth contained in it, not because it isn’t true but because it convicts them of their sins and they don’t want to hear it.
The rest of the letter of Jude speaks toward the church standing firm in their faith, just as the first few verses did. It talks of those who were apostates to the faith in Jesus and who were trying to subvert the teachings in the young church at the time. Jude was telling the believers to rebuke those who were bringing false teachings into the church and leading people off the path of Light and into teachings which would contradict those which Jesus and His disciples were teaching.
It matters to the church today because there are many who are rejecting the Bible outright, not only the teachings found in the New Testament but they are ridiculing the Scripture of the Old Testament, claiming that it has no meaning for today’s church. Yet, every book of the Bible teaches about Jesus in some way. He is spoken of as the Seed of the woman, the Rock, the pillar of Fire and Smoke, the Angel of the Lord, the Good Shepherd, the Son of Man and so on. He is mentioned in some form or type in all of Scripture which means that the entire Bible is relevant and useful for instruction and teaching in our modern world today.
Take the message of Jude to heart and make sure that you are ready to defend your faith if it is ever called into question or if you see or hear someone speaking of a doctrine which is not in the Bible or which sounds like it came from God’s Word but it didn’t.