Heavenly Minded

Jude calls himself, (δοῦλος doulos) it means bondservant, bondman. Not one who gives money to free, but rather one who sells him/her self into service. One totally dedicated and submissive to their master. This is what it means to make Jesus the Lord of our life. Some people have wondered why Jude didn’t reference Jesus Christ as his half-brother. Instead, he takes a position of humility, which was not uncommon. James, another half-brother of Jesus identifies himself in similar fashion James 1:1~ James a servant (δοῦλος doulos) of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. (NIV) 

The death and resurrection of Jesus changed all of His physical relationships. Jesus is no longer Jude’s half-brother—He is now his Savior and Master. This is why both of Jesus’ half-brothers who wrote epistles James and Jude refrain from mentioning their physical relationship to Jesus. Jesus is the only son of God. Now, in Jude’s introduction, he mentions The Wondrous Power of God by sharing four wonderful things: Sanctifies, Keeps, Calls, Meets. 

He Sanctifies us. Jude is writing to the church at large, that we are sanctified by God the Father Jude 1~Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified (ἁγιάζω hagiazō) by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (KJV) The word (ἁγιάζω hagiazō) sanctified means to be set apart, to be used by God. It refers to believers being separated from sinful, or worldly, behavior. Salvation is instantaneous because we are saved immediately and eternally when in faith, through no effort of our own, we receive Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord. However, sanctification is a lifelong process whereby we become more and more like Jesus Christ. This process requires a whole bunch of effort on our part. 

John 17:17~ Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (NIV) Jesus was saying Father, make them holy. When we clean it is a process, like sanctification. As we study and apply God’s Word, it has a cleansing, effect. Which is to sanctify us. Therefore, the more we apply God’s Word to our lives the more we become like Jesus Christ. Jude reminds us that the first wonderful thing God does for us is He Sanctifies Sanctifies us. 

Keep The Faith

Jude 1~Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. (ESV) When we come to Jesus Christ, we say take my sin-soaked life, it is yours and I accept your promise of salvation, eternity, life and joy. Jude has devoted his life to serving Jesus Christ, and as a point of reference for the reader, he says I am the brother of James. Now to properly identify the author of this epistle, we must determine which Jude he was and to which James he was a brother Now the name Jude is the English form of the Greek name Judas. To help us to relate to the commonality how many of you know a Robert? Do they go by Robbie or Bobby or perhaps they harken to the laundry list of Rob, Bob Hob, or Nob. All come from Robert. 

Similarly, Judas is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Judah. One need not read long in the Bible to discover the significance of Judah or how it may be rendered into other names like Jude or Judas, it was as common as Robert is today. If we consider the disciples, twelve men were chosen and two share the same name, right? What a minute, you astute Bible readers know this is a trick question. For we have a daily double available. We have either James, the son of Zebedee or James the son of Alphaeus. Then turning to Luke 6:16~Judas son of James and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (NIV) Yeah, that’s pretty much going to ruin that name for believers. More in a minute. So, there was either Judas Iscariot or there was Judas son of James. The first Judas is either brother or son, of James. The phrase brother of isn’t in the Greek text. Judas (Judah in Hebrew) was a name of great honor since it was the name of the tribe of the greatest king of Israel. It was also the tribe through which the Messiah came. However, because the name was forever tarnished by Iscariot, all English versions of the Bible, except the Revised Standard, use the name Jude rather than Judas. One verse sheds the most light on the author of this epistle. When Jesus amazes people in His hometown of Nazareth with His teachings, they ask Him if He is the son of the carpenter. Matthew 13:55~Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? (NIV)

Judas, the brother of James and half-brother of Jesus perfectly fits the description of the author of Jude. The fact Judas appears last in the list of Jesus’ brothers indicates he’s probably the youngest. Jude does not consider himself an apostle because he was not one of the Twelve, rather in humility he simply calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ. Understand when Christ Jesus was ministering His brothers are not part of the picture. John 7:5~For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (NIV) Was it hard for your family when you came to faith or even switched churches? This can be a struggle for many. When our family or friends reject us, stop calling or hanging out with us because of a decision we made for Jesus Christ. Don’t let go of your faith.

That is why we opened with authenticity and integrity. Be who God has created you to be and measure your life by Biblical standards. If we are living a life contrary to God’s word, then we know that we are not living a life of Biblical integrity. God creates us to man and women and He does not make mistakes. Our world is attempting to sell you that Bull, well you know what it is. Isaiah 29:16~You have everything backward! You treat the potter as a lump of clay. Does a book say to its author, “He didn’t write a word of me”? Does a meal say to the woman who cooked it, “She had nothing to do with this”? (MSG) Hear me, we were created with a plan to fulfill God’s divine design, and not our human desires, until we are aligned with Jesus Christ. It wasn’t until after Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead that His half-brother, James, became a believer. 1 Corinthians 15:7~Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, (NIV) Jude could have been with James at that time, or James may have won Jude later. We’ll have to wait for heaven to ask Jude what convinced him to accept Jesus Christ.

The Wondrous Power of God

Today, we consider the wondrous power of God. As we embark, let’s process the term Authentic—of undisputed origin, genuine, legitimate, bonafide, the real McCoy. I find this idiom interesting, as it relates to being “authentic for,” on one hand, it speaks of truth, the real McCoy, though its etymology is surrounded by numerous false backgrounds. Whether from a Scot’s heritage found a 19th-century poem which was then washed through an English filter or from Elijah McCoy’s patented oil drip cup designed for locomotives, tell me does it have the real McCoy? Some say it’s derived from spirits, as it was the catchphrase of a hard liquor ad in the middle of the last century. No doubt it has a curious set of histories. While Jude’s letter is not surrounded by such curiosities those Jude is warning about do seem to hold some oddities in their faith. And ultimately in one of the most neglected books of the Bible, probably stemming brevity, we find a teaching about Authentic Christianity.

The Authenticity of our faith luffs in the wind of life like a flag or banner flown above some lives. Offering all who cross the path a touch point. As the heralds of Christ are we men and women of integrity? Simply defined as doing what is right when no one is looking. This is a life lesson we are learning in the Savage household. Though no one is around or looking are we doing what’s right? So that when we cross the path of others we can be Authentic, genuine, real. The same person in public, as we are in private. When we arrive at Jude’s epistle, it’s been neatly tucked in front of Revelation. Standing proudly as a warning, it is as if it was purposefully placed there to ask us a question about our lives before the end begins. 

This economically concise and wonderful book on authentic Christianity shares with the reader the power of inspection. With no chapters and only verses, it is the last of the general epistles, a letter from God written as open editorials to the way some were living. Proverbs 16:25~There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death. (NIV) These general epistles: James, both Peters, all 3 Johns and Jude were not written to a particular church, but to the church at large in their wide locations and various states. Therefore, simply bearing the author’s name. 

Jude was probably written around 69AD a dangerous time for Jerusalem Jews who were in the midst of a great revolt in the late 60s. A four-year-long battle has Rome standing outside the city gates, laying siege the last three years. Jerusalem is about to fall, as was the Temples and faith as it had been practiced for centuries. The old covenant was already fulfilled as this locomotive, which had run its course, was out of gas. Jesus Christ had given a new covenant in His own blood. Jude desired that we live like Christ.