Today I’d like to begin a study of the short book of Jude, a companion thematically to 2nd Peter. You’ll find it just before the final book in the Bible, the book of Revelation.
Jude was a half brother of Jesus, and a brother to James, who wrote the book of James. Not much is said about Jude in the Bible beyond what you find in his book. He’s mentioned in Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3 along with his other brothers. He is to be distinguished from Jude, or Judas, mentioned in John 14:22, who was one of the apostles. I say this because in verse 17 he refers to the apostles’ warning, as coming from a group distinct from himself.
He refers to himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ.” This designation is “a bondservant,” that is, one who voluntarily submits himself to servitude for life. As Jesus’ brother he wasn’t a believer until after the resurrection. In passing, it’s interesting to note that he had the same name as Judas the betrayer, who as an apostate characterized the very group Jude exposes and condemns in his book.
By identifying himself as a servant and brother of James he demonstrates humility. But, though relatively unknown and unheralded, he had a heart for God and for truth and eagerly committed himself to defend both. He warned Christians of the danger of apostasy lurking close by and encouraged them to be well grounded in the truth, stand up for the truth, and help bring others to the truth. He modeled in his own life what he was calling other believers to in this book.
Read it over a few times before our next visit and reflect on what he had to say.