Jude is believed to be another of Jesus’ half-brothers and like other members of the Lord’s family, he did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah until after his resurrection. Not a lot else is known about this writer and the book reads like a sermon – giving warnings and instructions to other Christians. From the beginning Jude appears to be writing a different letter to what he had originally planned – he thought it was more important to say what he had to say. The main theme is warning others about the false teaching that had arisen and appears to have become widespread. He stresses the dangers of following these false teachers. Jude was urging the readers to persevere in the true faith. It seems to be that as the church grew and new leaders were coming forward, not all were as they should have been. Some were immoral and were perverting the grace of God. They were trying to convince the Christians that because they had already been saved by grace they could sin, as it would no longer be held against them. The false teachers were introducing some unusual activities and abusing their authority – see the reference to Sodom and Gomorrah. The “love feast” mentioned in verse 12 is relating to the communion meal that was shared. These false teachers were taking a celebration of Jesus and turning it into an orgy.
Jude reminds his readers that God will faithfully judge the ungodly just as Enoch had prophesied (v.14). We must not live by our own selfish desires – we need to try and live as God wants us to. We need to hang on to our faith as there is a future coming where God will judge some, and reward those who have lived close to him, those who have reached out to others who may have strayed away and been merciful to them. Jude assures us that if we turn away from the teaching of the false prophets and turn back to the teachings of the Lord then we will be ready for when he comes again – Hallelujah!
Jude finishes his letter with a song of praise reminding the readers that God will continue to care for us when we can’t care for ourselves if we stay in relationship with him.
Action – how do we protect ourselves from false teaching? – read God’s word and pray to the Holy Spirit – whatever we hear or read elsewhere, compare it to what the scriptures say, and then you can’t stray far from the truth.