Jude 1 & 2

Jude, 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:

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

 

Today’s church is in crisis. Today’s Christians are mostly indistinguishable from the rest of society except maybe when they are at church. It is sad that such statements do not cause much of a surprise for many Christians today. The immorality of today’s culture is infecting the people of God. And like the Corona Virus, we tend to ignore it.

          These same threats were also faced by the early Christians. Two thousand years ago the people of God, the early Christians found themselves infiltrated by false teachers. These teachers used grace as an excuse to be involved in immorality. There were some in the church who were called to warn their brothers and sisters about such individuals and encourage them to persevere in the grace of God.

 

          One of them was Jude, a servant of Jesus and the brother of James as he mentions here in verse 1. Today we will begin a series of devotions in this short letter of Jude, and it shouldn’t take too long because it is only one chapter long. Probably no more than a couple of weeks.

          Again, let me repeat that Jude identifies himself as the brother of James. And the James he mentions is none other than James the apostle and brother of the Lord Jesus (half-brother, because he may have shared the same mother, Mary, but Jesus’ Father was not Joseph). Therefore, we can conclude that Jude also was one of Jesus’ brothers.  But Jude is not named among the disciples of Jesus so probably he believed after the resurrection. Beyond those few small details we don’t know much else about him.

 

          Early church traditions say that the grandsons of Jude were church leaders in Palestine. This tells us that maybe Jude ministered there. If we read 1 Corinthians 9:5 where the apostle Paul asks, “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?Then we might be able to say that the brothers of Jesus were involved in missionary work.

          This might also be confirmed by the fact that Jude’s letter was sent to Jewish Christians whose exact identity and location is unknown to us. But these uncertainties certainly didn’t keep this letter from being considered as inspired by the early believers and that is why we find it in the Bible today. Therefore, we should listen to what it says just the same as every other book in the Bible as it is “God breathed”.

 

 

          As I mentioned already, most of the early Christians were facing a lot of false teaching. This teaching was from both within and outside of the church. The false teaching that Jude was referring to in his letter involved the promotion of sexual immorality and possibly also a denial of Christ’s return. So, over the next few weeks let’s try to humbly learn from Jude’s warnings about false teaching in order that we too can be prepared when facing similar situations. And, as I have already mentioned in past devotions, we have false teaching within our ranks already.

          So before closing in prayer let me suggest that you take some time today to read through this very short letter each day until our next devotion on Tuesday and prepare yourself to learn from these devotions. Also think about the fact that Jude does not use his physical relationship as the brother of Jesus to in anyway build himself up. This reminds us that we should be just as concerned with humility as the truth as we confront problems in the church. Ask the Lord to remind you to be humble before Him, even as you stand for the truth of His Gospel.