re-posted from Pr. Flamme (25 verses, 2:32 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Build yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.
- Because of the grammatical and thematic similarities between 2 Peter and Jude, some scholars have thought that this epistle represents a kind of replication of the Apostle’s epistle. However, if it copies the style, it does not repeat Peter word for word. Jude is full of its own encouragement for Christians.
- The authorship of the epistle is attributed to Jude “and brother of James.” For this reason, some ancient and modern scholars have suggested that the author may have been Jesus’ half-brother, but the evidence in the epistle and from the church is scarce.
- Note the references in Jude to sources outside of the Scriptures in vs. 9 and 14-15. The contest over Moses body and Enoch’s prophesy can be found in Jewish extra-biblical writings and traditions. For example, 1 Enoch, quoted in vs. 14-15, was likely written at a late day after the Old Testament Scriptures had been completed and before the advent of Christ, around 300 BC to late in the 1stcentury BC. Though his sources are not canonical and are not God’s Word, Jude may have used these writings as examples to explain a point, namely warning ungodly people of the coming judgement (vs. 3-16). Still, the spurious nature of his authorities have caused many in the church, both ancient and modern, to question Jude’s place in the biblical cannon.
- The main point of Jude’s epistle is not the strange or cryptic references to sources of which we know little. He would have us remember that in these last days scoffers and ungodly people “who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (vs. 4). Jude encourages the saints to build themselves up “in your most holy faith.” He means for Christians to remain in the Scriptures, the Divine Service, and the steadfast confession of Jesus’ doctrine. He also encourages us to pray in the Holy Spirit, that is, to pray in the Spirit given confidence that our heavenly Father both hears our prayer and will provide for us according to his good pleasure. When sensualities threaten to snatch our neighbors from this Christian faith, Jude would have us “snatch them out of the fire” (vs. 23). You can pray for your brothers and sisters who have faltered into sin. You can continue to tell them that Jesus has died for their sins.
- Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep me in the holy faith delivered by your prophets and apostles and grant me a willing spirit to pray for my brothers and sisters who stumble into sin, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.