Summary: Jude shares words of encouragement to the people reading his epistle
If you are not familiar with this book, I think you are going to be amazed at the content in it. He gets into some topics covered no where else in the NT.
1Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
I Corinthians 15:7 records James being saved. Jude is believed to have become a disciple following the resurrection of Jesus just like James did. Although not named directly Acts 1:14 informs us that “His brethren” were part of the prayer meeting before Pentecost. I Corinthians 9:5 states that the “brethren of the Lord” were known in the early church – this would include Jude. History records he became an itinerant missionary before writing of this letter.
The James, Jude references is the same one who wrote the Epistle of James.
Why doesn’t Jude share about his family connection to Jesus?
• One theory is that he was ashamed because he didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah until after the resurrection
• Second theory is he didn’t want any special treatment because of that relationship. He wanted to be known as a disciple/servant of Jesus and missionary on his own merit.
Instead he describes himself a servant/slave of Jesus.
The letter was probably written in the mid to late 60’s AD.
To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
Jude clearly identifies those his letter is written to – Christ followers who are called, loved and kept. The believers Jude addresses are being attacked and harassed by false teachers.
• Called NIV or sanctified KJV – God sent out an invitation for salvation and those who accepted it are now called of God to service. Sanctified means to set apart for service – those Jude writes are being called to arms to fight against apostasy.
• Loved – this is a participle of the famous agape
• Kept NIV; preserved KJV – by God’s power from falling away; Jude is very concerned about this issue and uses this word five times in this short epistle – v1, v6 2 times, v13, and v21 This Greek word kept is from the same root word used in John 17:11 “keep”.
Let’s do some sharing: of these three words, choose one to describe where you are tonight. Do you need the feeling of being called by God more than, needing His loving arms wrapped around you, or do you need the feel kept and protected more?
The timing of Jude’s and other NT books writing, especially 2 Peter around the same time, false teachers were trying to destroy the church. Since travel was difficult and time consuming, Jude and others used letters similar to this one to reach more churches with the message of warning about false teachers.
Jesus gave us the illustration of Himself as the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. Sheep do not have any kind of defense against wild animals or attackers. Jesus keeps and protects His sheep. He preserves them from harm. Warren Wiersbe says the word kept or preserved means “carefully watched and guarded”. Jesus was doing that through the letters of Jude, Peter and others.
2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
A few months back I gave you a message on the difference between mercy and grace, does anyone remember the definition? Mercy is not getting the judgement we deserve. Grace is getting blessings we don’t deserve.
The word peace has an element in it of “joining together”. Such as two armies are at war and they agree to have peace – the two join together and no longer fight. In the spiritual realm repentant sinners and a loving God are brought to peace through the cross of Jesus. They are now at peace.
The words “in abundance” NIV is “multiplied” KJV. Jude wanted God’s blessing to be multiplied in their lives.
3 Dear friends,
What the NIV calls “dear friends” the KJV has “beloved”. The word is based on the word agape we could translate “divinely loved ones”. What is true of the people Jude was writing to is also true for you and me. We are loved by God too!
although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share,
This phrase indicates to us that Jude originally planned to write a letter on the salvation Christians share in common with one another. The KJV has “common salvation” – common in the sense it is shared or a mutual experience.
I felt compelled to write
What the NIV says is “I felt compelled” the KJV has “it was needful”. Jude is expressing an urgency a necessity to write a letter of warning rather than a letter about our common salvation.