The letter of Jude is, like other short books in the Bible, sadly often overlooked. The best evidence for authorship leads us to the Jude of Matthew 13.55 and Mark 6.3, and puts this as being written by the half-brother of Jesus. He starts today with a wonderful introduction.
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:
2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Jude is a shortened form of the name Judas, which for obvious reasons was not commonly used after the events of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion. Most English translations of the Bible will use Jude, however the Greek New Testament still uses Judas (Ιούδας).
So Jude grew up in the same house as Jesus, in the same family as Jesus, had the same earthly parents as Jesus, but introduces himself as Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. He could claim to be Jude, brother of Jesus, but instead thinks of himself as a servant of Jesus.
We know that Jude didn’t believe in who Jesus was until after His resurrection (John 7.5, Acts 1.14), and we see the integrity of Jude to not claim to be more than a servant of Jesus Christ. Why would he do this? Well,
To Jude, the blood of the cross that saved him was more important than the family blood in his veins that related him to Jesus. – David GuzikTweet
Jude is more concerned with his faith relationship to Jesus as Saviour than he is concerned with his familial relationship to the Jesus he grew up with but never acknowledged. What a great point that is for us –
What is more important is our faith relationship to Jesus now than any previous ways we may or may not have related to Him.
Maybe you grew up in church knowing who Jesus was, but there was no relationship based on faith.
Maybe you grew up and never heard the name of Jesus, and consequently there was no relationship based on faith.
Maybe you grew up in an environment that actively did not believe in Jesus, so you didn’t want a relationship based on faith.
No matter which is true, all that matters is now. No matter how our past relationship with Jesus can be described, as with Jude, all that matters is how we relate to the resurrected Saviour now.
Jude chose a faith relationship with Jesus over a familial relationship with Jesus. Today, now, which will we choose?
Point to ponder – How am I relating to Jesus today?
Prayer – Father, we thank you that no matter how we may have viewed our relationship with you in the past, no matter how we may have thought of Jesus before, that if we come to you know through faith in Him, there is forgiveness, there is acceptance, and there is salvation. Help us today to receive the mercy, the peace, and the love that Jude speaks of, and help us to multiply this to others. Amen.