The NIV Student Bible introduces Jude best: “If you sign up for a driver’s training course, you’ll begin with several hours of classroom lectures on ‘Rules of the Road.’ The instructor will drill you on the shapes and colors of warning sings—signs that announce danger on the highways. Driving seems all very academic, until you slide behind the wheel. There, a missed stop sign won’t just lower a test score; it could cost you your life. Your instructor, rather than calmly correcting you, will shout, ‘Look out!’ Jude writes in the style of a teacher who is watching a freight train bear down on his student driver. Bells ring out, crossing gates go down, red lights flash. He admits this kind of letter isn’t his preference; he intended a more high-minded treatise on salvation. But the church was facing mortal dangers, and so Jude dashed off a vehement warning. Jude doesn’t elaborate on what the troublemakers were teaching – perhaps he didn’t want to honor their ides by discussing them. Their behavior, however, is fair game: he fires away at their hypocrisy, divisiveness, and loose morals. He calls them spies and urges believers to fight for the true faith. At this poetic best, he borrows vivid images from nature to describe these people. Short and vigorous, the book of Jude brings to mind a message from one of the fiery Old Testament prophets. Yet Jude holds out hope for his readers. Sincere believers can keep themselves in God’s love, and some wavering souls can still be snatched ‘from the fire’. (Even when battling heretics, Jude does not hint at persecuting the offenders – no burnings at the stake here.) Jude closes with a familiar and joy-filled doxology, the one part of his letter still quoted widely in modern churches.”

4, “For certain men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” There are people in this world that can be described as crafty at best. They know how to use words and have the ability to twist the truth. If we allow ourselves to listen without verification, they can turn us away from God slowly but surely. There is no coincidence that Jude comes right before the book of Revelation. Through verses 5-11, Jude describes the actions from the past and the similarities of those of the present providing examples in 16, 18-19: “These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage. They told you, ‘In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.’ These people create divisions and are merely natural, not having the Spirit.” It is important that we learn from the past to prepare for the future while living in the present. From a Christian perspective, we can see that we are not perfect, we have made mistakes, and we have regrets. Fortunately, Jesus died for our sins so that we do not need to dwell on the past mistakes, only learn from them and know that in God’s time, we will spend eternity with Him where there is no more pain or suffering. In the mean time, we should live by what we believe, by the grace of God, we continue day by day.

Finally in verses 20 through 25, we find the Exhortation and Benediction that is worth ending with:
“But you, dear friends, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. Have mercy on some who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; on others have mercy in fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now, and forever. Amen.”

Advertisements