When you think “Jude,” what do you think of? Let me guess: The Beatles. Let’s change that.
When you think of Jude now, think of warfare. Think of contending for the faith. Think of defending the truth.
In other words, instead of “Beatles,” think “beating.”
If you’re wondering who Jude is, you’re not alone. He introduces himself in verse 1 as “a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,” which is interesting. Most commentators agree that his brother, James, was the half-brother of Jesus who wrote the book of James. So what does that make Jude? He would be the same as James – Jesus’ half-brother (same mother, different father). So why does he call himself “a servant of Jesus Christ”? You’d think he’d want everyone to know that. It would give him some extra credibility…
“Hey what’s up? I’m Jude, Jesus Christ’s brother.”
“Hey remember that guy who died for the sins of the world? Yeah, He’s my bro. We grew up together.”
“I was Jesus’ womb mate.”
He could have said a lot of other things and boosted himself by pointing out his close family ties to Jesus, but here’s why I think he simply went with “servant of Jesus Christ” – because that’s all that mattered to him. Sure, he may have have shared a bunk bed with Jesus growing up, but Jude finally recognized (probably after Jesus’ resurrection) that one day he would stand before Jesus and the most important thing would be that Jude was His servant, not His brother. What would matter most is that Jude had served Jesus, not that he had slept in the same room as Him growing up or eaten Cocoa Puffs with Him in the morning.
Jesus is Master. We have to remember that.
Make sure that your relationship with Jesus is founded first and foremost on Who Jesus is and what He has done – not on who you are or what you have done. It’s not about you – it’s about Him!
Jude is writing to a bunch of Christians, and his original intent was to write about salvation in general, but he felt led to write about something much more pressing…
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” – Jude 3
The main focus of Jude’s short epistle is the need for Christians to contend for the faith. Sure, there are plenty of times when we should “turn the cheek,” but when it comes to the purity and message of the Gospel, we should never back down. It’s vital.
Similar to Peter, Jude has harsh words for the false teachers who have crept into the church. He compares them to Cain (who killed his brother, Abel), Balaam (who was hired to curse God’s people and was rebuked by his donkey), and Korah (who rebelled against Moses and was burned to death as punishment). These are obviously not compliments!
He goes on to describe them as stains, selfish, useless, fickle, fruitless, dead, and more. Ouch!
After he calls them out, he reminds the church of something important that we need to remember as well: God isn’t surprised by these guys – He predicted their arrival.
God has warned us that these things would come. Jesus warned of it in Matthew 24, Paul warned of it in 2 Timothy, Peter warned of it in 2 Peter - it’s no surprise. Since we knew these guys were coming, we shouldn’t be surprised either and we should be on guard. False doctrine, lies, and selfish ambition will pollute the Gospel and draw people away from Christ under the guise of drawing them closer to Christ. It’s extremely dangerous and these false prophets/teachers/Christs will be judged for leading people astray.
Our goal in maintaining the purity of the Word is what Jude says at the end of his letter – to “save others by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 23). We need to remember that eternity is on the line here – it’s far beyond semantics or personal beliefs!
So stand up for your faith and don’t back down. Also, remember Who’s boss…
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” – Jude 24-25 ESV
If you’re looking for some good teachings on the book of Jude, my friend Levi Lusko just taught through the book at his church. You can find all his teachings HERE.