Jude 1.8-9 – The Example of Michael

So far in Jude we have talked about contending for the faith, and being in the fight for the long haul. Today, Jude gives us a contrast and an example from which to draw.

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.”

These people are those referenced back in vv.5-7, those who fall to unbelief and indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire. Here, Jude says that they also rely on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.

Simply, the worldly way of living focuses on self and our desires, uses our bodies to gratify these desires rather than glorify God, rejects the idea that anyone can tell us what to do with our life, and actively and vehemently speaks out against those who offer an opinion contrary to their own. 

In huge contrast to this we are shown the archangel Michael

Archangel is an interesting term, used only twice in the New Testament (here and 1 Thessalonians 4.16), it signifies a chief angel, one of first place, one with authority, one who is head of others. So Michael the Archangel is, basically, the number one angel in the ranks of the heavenly host. He is no doubt powerful and able as leader of heaven’s armies (Revelation 12.7).

Here is the takeaway for us:

look how Michael contends with the devil.

Rather than use his own might and power and strength and ability to fight the battle, to contend for the faith, to fight for Him that he serves, he says 

“The Lord rebuke you.”

It is far better for us to be on the side of God than to try go it alone. Rather than fight for the faith and rather than contend for truth in our own strength and power, we are far better following the example of Michael, who despite having the highest rank among angels, did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgement, but instead called upon the name of the Lord and said, “The Lord rebuke you.”


Point to ponder – How can I follow the example of Michael today and call upon the powerful name of the Lord?


Prayer – Father, we thank you for this example in your Word of where the true power lies. We thank you for this example of Michael who despite having a position of power and prominence, called upon your name when fighting for you. Help us today, and every day, to do the same. Amen. 

Revelation 14.14-20 – Harvest time

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.

15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.”

16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle,

“Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.”

19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

This passage finishes on a pretty serious note, doesn’t it; blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia. Blood flowing for around 184 miles is pretty serious business and paints us a picture of absolute carnage, more of that to come in chapters 16 and 19.

Jesus talks about this particular section of text back in Matthew 13.24-30, then explains it in vv.36-43, you can read about it here.

Today, then, there is a separation, believers and unbelievers, those who have put faith and trust in Jesus, and, if we want to really challenge ourselves (and the Word of God does challenge us…think two edged sword, sharp and precise, cutting down to even those thoughts we would never share), we see the separation of believers and church-goers.

The narrative of the Bible calls for us to be the church, not to simply attend church. The Christian life is one of progression, of progressive sanctification, of becoming just a little more like Jesus every day, of living out His teachings and doing our earthly best to emulate His life. The Christian life is not lived for 90 minutes once a week plus a smattering of Bible-related interactions during the week; Bible verses on Instagram, reading a devotional, listening to the message again, even attending a midweek Bible study group.

The Christian life is lived in community; with God’s people, for God’ people, as God’s people.

We are called to BE the church, not just go to church.

Literally the word church means ‘called out ones’. It is a community of those who have been called out of darkness into His glorious light, out of sin and into righteousness, out of death and into life.

We ARE the church, we don’t just go on Friday (or whenever your church assembles).

So, all this to say, we want to be part of Jesus’ harvest, don’t we, he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped, we don’t want to be part of the latter harvest mentioned here, so the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

The best thing about this is that Jesus wants us to be part of His harvest, He wants us to turn to Him, to surrender our will to His, He wants us.

Do we want Him?

Do we want to assemble as God’s people, as God’s church, do we want to be the church, or just go to church?