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:
May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Judgment on False Teachers
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
A Call to Persevere
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
He grew up in the household of Jesus. He knew him through and through. His brother James would eventually become the leader of the early church. Jude was a half brother to Jesus. His spiritual relationship with Jesus overshadowed by his physical relationship with Him. The salvation of his soul through Jesus the Son of God was far more important than the bloodline of the family.
Jude packed this short letter with unreal truths of the spiritual war that every individual who calls themselves Followers of Jesus are in. As within our own physical realm, we fight for what we believe in. We guard against attacks from our enemies who threaten to destroy our security. In general, we defend our rights. We battle for survival and defend with all our strength the things we believe in. Jude takes such human stances which are part of us and shines it down on our spiritual battle calling every Believer to do the same with the Truth of God. He calls all people to defend the faith.
Heresy had slipped in the church. False teachers were infiltrating the ranks. Exposing their behaviors, like the general of an army he commands to fight. Fight for the faith; defend the ground of which we claim. Specifically, he calls Followers to reject falsehood and immorality, reminding the readers of God’s incredible acts of rescue and punishment. He calls us to be those of action in prayer, keep close to God, help others, and hate sin.
Specifically, Jude lays out things for all who claim the Lordship of Jesus are to hold our ground. We must build ourselves up in our faith, making scriptures a part of daily life (verse 20). Pick up your sword daily. We are to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit (verse 20). The challenge is there to keep ourselves in the love of God (verse 21) as well as we are to wait for his abundant mercy that leads us toward eternal life (verse 21). Finally, we are to extend mercy to those who are struggling and wavering in their faith (verse 22). As he incredibly writes in this verse we are to hate the clothing/the deed/the actions of those who struggle but have mercy on them.
The battle is real for each of us. The battle cry is just as relevant today as it was when this letter was penned. Be a defender of the faith and walk humbly with your God.
Jude 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Jude was one of four half-brothers of Jesus. In the Greek, the name Jude was synonymous with Judas.
“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?Matthew 13:55 NASB
If you study 2 Peter alongside Jude you begin to understand the chronology of events. 2 Peter warns us that false teachers will come. Consequently, Jude deals with their arrival. In this way, Jude is a very practical book for our current time.
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,2 Peter 3:3 NASB
But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”Jude 1:17-18 NASB
Jude 1:3 writes that the church must “contend earnestly” (NASB) for the faith which comes from a Greek word with meaning ‘to agonize’ over the faith. Such strong language indicates that Jude (and others) believed these false teachers to be skilled, deceptive chameleons. They had “slipped in” among the believers, disguised themselves, and were slowly changing the core doctrines in order to lead people away from Christ.
What kind of qualities marked these false teachers? A key theme that sweeps over this chapter is the rebellion of authority. False teachers want you to submit to them, not God. Of course, they don’t come right out and say it. It’s subtle. Jude gives three examples of this kind of behavior using Cain, Balaam, and Korah. I want to focus on Korah for a moment.
A consistent theme I have seen with false teachers is that they deflect their own sin by accusing others of the very thing they are doing themselves! Remember the phrase, “It takes one to know one?” Korah accused Moses and Aaron of having too much authority and rallied the people to try and overthrow them. He actually asks Moses, “Why do you exalt yourselves over the assembly of the Lord?”
Uh… well… because God told Moses he was in charge!
False teachers hate authority… unless, of course, they possess it. Korah’s real issue wasn’t Moses or Aaron. He was mad at God because he wanted a position of leadership and didn’t get it. The irony is that because false teachers do not bow their knee to God, they make themselves the authority and expect everyone else to fall in line. They can be pushy, arrogant, and demonstrative in order to try and prove they possess authority. But this is simply a facade that proves they do not possess a spiritually renewed mind.
“The false teachers do not know the truth of the gospel. They speak on matters that they do not understand, as natural people and not as spiritual people (1Co 2:14). They have understanding not of the Spirit of God, but only of what they share in common with the animal world, things far less than God’s intent for His human creatures.”Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary
Paul accurately contrasts true disciples with false teachers in Titus.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.Titus 3:1-3 NASB
Jude is a fascinating example of a testimony. You would think that growing up around Christ, and knowing him so personally, that he would have followed him wholeheartedly. This was not the case. In fact, none of his brothers believed in Him initially.
For not even His brothers were believing in Him.John 7:5 NASB
However, most agree that after the resurrection, all his brothers converted. Of all the issues Jude tackles, I love his phrase in verses 20-21 the most.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.Jude 1:20-21 NASB
Build faith. Pray in the Spirit. Keep yourselves in His love. Really, this book comes back to the foundations we have known for so long. Stick to the Word, pray often, and obey Jesus. We can only do these things through a loving, obedient relationship with our Savior!