Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. – Jude 1:5-8 ESV
The small book of Jude is a book about TRUTH. Jude, which can also be called “Judah” in Hebrew and “Judas” in Greek, was named after its author, one of the 4, half-brothers of Jesus. This is important, because the book of JUDE is about the IMPORTANCE OF TRUTH, and the danger posed by false teaching and distortions of the truth. The book addresses the difference between the false teachings that heretics were spreading, and the truth about Jesus Christ. Today we can either say, “Not much has changed”, or we could say, “we are right back at the same place today”. Today Jesus has been made into the leader of a ‘HATE GROUP’, His love has been perverted into acceptance and condonement of all activity. HIS WORD is considered HATE SPEECH. In today’s postmodern society, truth is considered ‘relative’, everybody has their own, ‘truth’. Yet, there is an acceptable, “Government” truth that social media, the press, and some churches are pushing. The current administration is creating a ‘ministry of truth’, just before the election to make sure; “Biden’s version of the truth’, is the only acceptable version. The underlying theme of Jude is the danger posed by false teaching. Jude wanted to write a letter of encouragement to an early church that was under persecution. Instead, Jude finds himself having to warn about the dangers posed by false teachers; those who have abandoned the truth as it is laid out in God’s Word. We find the same thing happening today with ‘WOKE” congregations, and supposed children of God supporting the racism of CRT and keeping a ‘pound of flesh’- a record of wrong, covetousness through the ‘privilege’ movement, and the separating out of believers based on skin color, and thus showing no mercy and no grace. The World and the church seem to be yoked together. This is why JUDE is an important book to today’s believer. There is a great apostasy occurring. People are walking away from the church and from God. Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of Christianity by someone who formerly “was a Christian.” The term apostasy means, defection, departure, revolt, or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christianity.” The book of Jude encourages us to: Stand firm, grow in faith, and CONTEND for THE FAITH!
Leader, Jude was one of our Lord’s brothers. However look at how he identifies himself in this epistle; 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. (Jude 1:1-2) Jude doesn’t claim kinship with the Lord. He instead claims kinship with James, who wrote the book of James, who was the first church leader of the Jerusalem church. Let us now go to the book of James, and see how James introduces himself in his epistle. It is written, James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes of the Dispersion: Greetings. (James 1:1) Did you notice that? Neither James, nor his brother, Jude claim any close connection, sibling relationship to their half-brother, Jesus! This is so powerful because of the reverence they both have for the Son of God, Jesus. Yet, during Jesus’ ministry, before the cross, they thought their brother was “off his rocker”. In John 7, we see that his brothers didn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God: For even his brothers didn’t believe in him (John 7:5). In fact, Jesus’ brothers thought He was crazy: When his family heard this, they set out to restrain him, because they said, “He’s out of his mind.” (Mark 3:21). Most people would agree, if their brother was going around telling people he was God in the flesh, they would call him crazy. No one would think their sibling was God. But now James and Jude don’t even call themselves Jesus’ “half-brother” …. Everything changed, but what changed? When the book of Acts opens, we see his brothers were in the upper room praying with the apostles: They all were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (Acts 1:14). What changed with James and Jude, is the real change that takes place in a converted soul! James and Jude met the risen JESUS, and they BELIEVED! Interestingly, James is considered the most practical book in the New Testament and Jude is the only New Testament book devoted exclusively to confronting “apostasy” and the defection from the true WORD OF GOD, the WHOLE GOSPEL. This shows us that TRUE CHANGE TAKES place when someone meets the RISEN JESUS!
Conduit, Judas, and James are the only two of Jesus’ brothers to write books in the Bible. Jude is interesting because he does not direct his writing to a stated circle of readers, or a stated geographical region, like most other authors. At the beginning of his letter, Jude focuses on the common salvation that Christians have, and challenges them to CONTEND for the faith. The Amplified Bible translates the command as “fight strenuously for [the defense of] the faith.” A true contender vigorously endeavors to win the competition, not holding anything back. In this case, the struggle is for “the faith,” which is the saving truth of Jesus Christ and His teachings (2 Corinthians 11:3–4; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 1:2). Just like today’s church, false teachers had crept into the church, turning God’s grace into a license to do as they pleased. Jude reminds such men of God’s past dealings with others, unbelieving Israel, disobedient angels, and wicked Sodom and Gomorrah. Other purposes of the epistle are to condemn the practices of the ungodly, those who were infesting and corrupting Christians. There was also purposive intent to counsel the readers to stand firm, to grow in their faith, and to FIGHT STRENUOUSLY for the faith. Yet, we live in a world today where brothers and sisters, AND THE WORLD TOO, are calling us UNCHRISTIAN if we FIGHT STRENUOUSLY FOR THE FAITH! Jude alone refers to the dispute between Michael and the devil about the body of Moses. As a matter of fact, Jude shows us the importance of knowing the Old Testament, if you want to know Jesus. In one of the shortest books in the Bible look at all the references to OLD TESTAMENT KNOWLEDGE: The Exodus, Satan’s rebellion, Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses’ death, Cain, Balaam, Korah, Enoch, and Adam. How well did Jude, now Jesus? Jude’s benediction is one of the most beautiful in the Bible. I pray you and I get to know JESUS, the way JUDE knew JESUS! Hear the Word of the LORD; 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 1:24-25)