The Epistle/Letter of Jude
I never spent much time reading the Epistle of Jude despite the shortness. I made a grave mistake in doing so. There is an unlimited amount of information packed in just 25 verses. I have learned much through my readings and studies of the Epistle of Jude. I did not know Jude was Jesus’ half-brother. I did not know the letter was written in triads. I did not know it was written to the Jews. That seems like a whole lot of information, so how does it all tie into become relevant in my life, and yours? The way the letter was written, who it was written by, and the references made in such a short letter opened my eyes to seeing how everything interconnects and created numerous questioned that prompted further research.
The significance of this letter to me is huge, but I am not sure I can verbalize that to you. I have written in previous blogs about how I felt or believed a certain way that did not line up with the world, but I had no idea why I carried that belief, until I came to relationship with Jesus. The Letter of Jude solidifies some of those beliefs. Jude was Jesus’ brother. Matthew identifies Jude as Judas in Matthew 13:55, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” (NASB). Jude is a shortened, English, version of Judas. I am convinced that Jude was “in the know”. He knew what was going on in the world. He had insight that we can’t even imagine. He references an interaction with Satan and Michael, the archangel, on earth regarding Moses’ body (Jude 1:9). This gives sound argument that Satan is not currently in Hell, rather he is on earth. Not everyone believes that Satan roams the earth, but this verse makes a sound argument that he does. Jude also writes about controversial figures such as Enoch, (Jude 1:14) the author of writings considered apocrypha.
Enoch and Apocrypha
The Epistle of Jude also references Enoch of the 7th generation of Adam (Jude 1:14). Enoch is believed to be the author of The Book of Enoch. The Book of Enoch was not canonized and is considered part of the Apocrypha. However, the Bible of the Christian church in Ethiopia contains the Book of Enoch. I believe that is significant because even though that book, like Maccabees, may not have been inspired by God, it doesn’t prevent it from being factual to some degree, like any other historical text. Also, it brings up serious questions as to why some churches consider the Book of Enoch as inspired scripture and other churches do not.
It is generally accepted by most Christians and Israelites that Enoch, son of Jered, and the Maccabean revolt as true events and people that occurred in history. Catholics and Protestants have different books in the Bible. I believe it is important to understand why the two groups decided on certain books or not. I also believe it is important for any Protestant to read the omitted books, so they know what is in them. Don’t just take someone else’s word for it. Find out for yourself. I also believe it is important for the Catholic Christian to ask, “what made them want to remove those books?”, rather than simply thinking they are wrong. I was Catholic; now I am Protestant. Changing from Catholic to Protestant was and is difficult. I have many questions about the Books of the two different Bibles. I still have questions. Jude helps clear some of that up for me. Regardless of how you feel about what books should be in the Bible, never forget who the Bible is about. Jesus.
Jerusalem During Time of Epistle
Triads and the 2nd Coming of Christ
The third part that really gets my mind working is the use of triads in the Book of Jude. Triads are simply a group of three. Jude knew Jewish custom. He knew that hearing one comparison would not be enough to convince the Jewish masses, so he used three. It is very hard to dispute someone that gives you three examples of what they are talking about. In truth, there are probably more, but if three isn’t enough, is any number? That deep understanding, and desire to prove without a doubt the points he is trying to make really hit me at the core. How many examples of something would it take for you to believe? If not three, how many?
Here are a few examples of triads in the Letter of Jude:
Jude 1:2, “May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.” (NASB).
In this verse, Jude uses the triad of mercy, peace, and love as a blessing to those reading.
Jude 1:5-7, “5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” (NASB).
Jude gives 3 historic events as warnings: leaving Egypt, the angels that did not obey, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jude 1:24, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” (NASB).
In this verse we are given a triad of God’s attributes: He keeps us from falling, He presents us without fault, and He has great joy.
There are many more examples, but in light of the triad I chose to provide three examples. I believe Jude is not the two things you put together, rather it is the glue that holds them together. Jude shows us how scripture ties in together and how one action is affected by another. This is considered an apocalyptic letter, but I would call this a conclusion letter. The Book of Revelation tells us how the world as we know it will end with the second coming of Jesus, but Jude ties together the loose ends like a conclusion paragraph by connecting scripture from Jude to Genesis. For example, the body of Moses is relevant to the 2ndComing of Christ. Everything we do and have done is relevant to the 2nd Coming of Christ. The second to the last book in the Bible (not chronological) discuss characters from the first and second book of the Bible. The Book of Jude ties in the past and present and paints a picture of the future.
The picture he painted looks remarkably like our present. I am not saying the time has come, or these are end days, but this is a perfect example of the timelessness of scripture. Christ is coming again. We do not know when. The Apostles and original fathers of the church can rest easy knowing that they did their job. We have been warned. We have been instructed on what to do and how to do it. We better make the best use of the time we have left.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Have you read the Epistle of Jude? If not, I challenge you to. It is only 25 verses long. What were your thoughts on the epistle? Did the Lord speak to you through it? What did He say? I welcome any comments or questions. Thank you for reading and God Bless.