Chaos.Does the world seem like it is in utter chaos? Every time you watch the news reports, someone has been murdered or an accident has occurred. People seem angry. I heard on the radio that anger in the workplace has increased. Even the weather seems in an uproar. Evil and turmoil lurks around every corner. All of this can be overwhelming, scary, and quite discouraging especially if we take our eyes off the one who is really in control of this universe-God.
For my summer Bible study, I decided to take a closer look at some of the books of the Bible that you don’t hear a lot about. For instance, the little book of Jude. Jude has only one chapter. I have to ask myself, what could be in this one chapter that was important enough to put in the Bible? Also, what is the message that he wanted to get across?
Who is Jude? He wasn’t an apostle or a pillar in the church. He was the brother of James and the half-brother of Jesus. He considered himself as a bond servant for Jesus. At first, he wasn’t a believer (John7:5) but eventually believed that Jesus was the Son of God. Let’s take a look at the first four verses and see what Jude is all about.
(v.1) “Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.”
Jude is writing to the believers. I love the last part of this verse, “kept for Jesus Christ.” In the KJV if says, “preserved in Jesus Christ.” The word preserved in the Greek is “tereo” which means “to guard from loss or injury by keeping the eye upon..” As believers we are protected by the power of God through faith (1 Peter1:5) and “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:28) God has His eye on His children protecting them and holding them close to His heart. I think it is wonderful to know that we are the apple of His eye, Would we live our lives any differently by remembering that God is watching us?
As Jude writes he tells the believers, (v.2) “mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.” He begins his letter by reminding them that they shared the same salvation as he did. He felt the need to write to them about their faith. Obviously he knew what was going on where they lived.
(v.3) “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”
When I hear the word contend, I think about boxing. A contender in boxing is someone who is fighting to win the title of champion. Jude is telling them to contend earnestly for their faith. “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12 Jude is appealing to the believers to contend and hold fast to their faith “which was once for all handed down to the saints.” He reminded them that many believers before them had remained faithful through hard times even when they did not understands the “whys” in their lives. “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.” 2 Peter 2:21
So what is going on that Jude needs to give them this message?
“For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for all condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4)
There were people who were false brethren or teachers who were clever enough to infiltrated the Christian community, even though they were ungodly. They were trying to pervert God’s grace and to deny His authority. Jesus had anticipated these type of people. “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7;15) Jude was concerned that the believers could get tangled up with these people. False teachers taught that because you have been saved by grace you can live as you please. The Bible tells us differently. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? ( Romans 6:1-2) These false teachers lived immorally and rejected Jesus.
In the world we live in, Satan can slowly weave his way into our lives to pull us away from God. He is very cunning. We have many distractions in our lives today that can be a hindrance from spending time with the Lord. Before you know it a week has gone by and we have not even opened our Bible. We need Him to help us and guide us in our lives especially in the world we live in today. It is only through Him that we can have peace and fight the good fight against Satan. We have to be on guard because Satan is always looking for opportunities to destroy our faith. We will look further into this little book of Jude but until them hold fast to your faith and persevere in the Lord.