Jude describes himself as a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. Because we know that James is the brother of Jesus, we also know that Jude is the brother of Jesus as well, unless, as some do, you believe that Jude is the offspring of Joseph before he married Mary(?). He likely doesn't identify himself as the brother of Jesus out of awe and humility.
The Book of Jude really dedicates itself to describing the traps and trials of Satan and his wicked angels for the end time Church. Can you identify with this? If you are a church-attending believer, have you observed the impact on the Church of False Prophets and False teachings with:
- sexual immorality in all its most lurid spectrum of disorder
- wide-spread disdain for authority
- open and prolific mocking of Jesus Christ and all that He represents
Jude points out that these sneering blasphemers are repeating the same mistakes made by the murderer Cain, greedy Balaam, and rebellious Korah... I did a 5-minute flip-through of a Vancouver newspaper during a cup of tea in a restaurant and saw each of these models represented in current form. The scary thing is that not only are they rampant in the World, but these same ungodly people (or characters) are infiltrating the Church. These are the people who come to a worship service only because they know there will be a delicious fellowship dinner to follow, at which time they can "serve up the Pastor for lunch" (you know what I mean) in a private corner, preferably with a new believer who hasn't heard all the "scandals" of the Church this person states that they don't attend any more (except on rare occasions such as this potluck?).
Jude is not suggesting that we get all paranoid and begin to see demons popping up all over... instead he emphasizes that we continue to build ourselves (and others) in the faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, and ever seeking more of Jesus Christ's merciful love in our lives and in the lives of those we love. Continue to love the Sinner, but hate the sin. Be gentle and loving to the discouraged and courageously take on the wrong-doers. Remain right in the center of God's love, recognizing that we can have authority and strength through the grace of Jesus Christ, to the end of all time!
I'd like to invite you to read through this short Book... ask questions (lots of them) and make notes. Listen for the message that God is telling you (hint: what stands out for you in the Book of Jude).
God bless, Cynthia