Summary: Jude calls believers to contend for the faith! To join in the battle… to be ready to step up! Are you ready to step up today… to step up and take on the battle plan God has laid forth for you?
A Study of the Letter of Jude
JUDE v. 1-3
Teaching Lesson 2
May 16, 2012
The Book of Jude… how many of you have read it? How many of you have ever studied it?
1Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, to those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.3Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.
Have you ever had news you needed to share with someone and may have felt uncomfortable about it and may even have struggled with how you were going to approach how you would share it?
Jude had wanted to send a letter of encouragement to the believers but he discovered that there were more pressing matters and he had news/a word that he was being led of the Holy Spirit to share… but it was not what he had WANTED to say… But I want us to look tonight at these first 3 verses and let’s dig in and see what God has to say…
1Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, to those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
Jude is listed at the writer or author of this letter. He lists himself as the author and also the brother of James. Now the “James” mentioned here was almost certainly the brother of Jesus. … and if he is brothers to Jesus’ brother… then he is brothers with Jesus!
Another indication we can see here about the author is that he offers this one introduction and nothing more… it is as if he is well known by the readers… also suggesting that he had a good reputation with the readers as well.
When we examine the other uses of ‘Jude’ within the NT and early Christianity, it is clear that no other candidate fits the authorship of this letter…
There was a disciple named Jude who is introduced as Jude of James, but this does not refer to Jude the brother of James but would have referred to Jude the SON of James… so this makes the Apostle Jude a very UNLIKELY candidate for authorship of this letter!
Another clue to distance ourselves from the Apostle Jude would be the fact that this author does NOT introduce himself as an Apostle… which would have been extremely important for him to do so as it carried with it great authority within the early church… so because it is NOT mentioned, it is presumed that the Apostle Jude is NOT the author of this letter!
There is a Jude found in Acts 15 Judas Barsabbas however there is no indication that he was the brother of James who is so very prominent in the book of Acts.
Some may argue FOR Judas Barsabbas because the term ‘brother’ could also mean ‘co-worker’ in Christ and not be a reference to familial relationships…
However, the term used does not denote any ministry position within the church but instead points toward a genealogical relationship… his earthly brother!
Others who advocate a later authorship date and cite a bishop in Jerusalem in the 3rd century as author but there is little or no evidence for this theory.
Unfortunately our knowledge and information about Jude is a bit scarce, but it is believed that the writer of this letter was one of the 4 half-brothers of Jesus found in Matt 13:55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
and Mark 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon?
Jude is a shortened version of Judas…Jude was NOT believed to be a believer when Jesus was here… Mark 3:21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
He more than likely became a believer after the resurrection. We find in Acts 1:14 where Scripture tell us They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
We also can see in 1 Cor 9:5 that the brothers of Jesus became basically itinerant evangelists or missionaries after His resurrection: Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas (Peter)?
This would explain his addressing this church in such an authoritative manner… like he had been there, and had taught them, and they respected him!