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:
May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Comment: This is a very short epistle written by one Jude who claims his brotherly status with James, who was the half brother of Jesus. I think in humility he ignores his family relationship with Jesus but emphasizes his servanthood of Him. Adding mercy, peace and love as the things he wants heaped upon his readers, makes a rich greeting to his readers.
But then we have this earnest confession about his reasons for writing. And as we read on in the next few days, it seems as if he is really stirred up about what is going on among his readers. It leads to what seems like a blistering attack on the false teachers who have come among this group of early believers.
It seems as if his heart is full of the glory of the message of Jesus, which he wanted to share with his fellow believers. But the sneaky way that the false messengers whom he calls out ‘as perverting the Grace of the gospel and God’, and whom he says are certainly already condemned and heading towards hell, have crept into teaching positions calls forth from him a blast of condemnation. (as we will read in the next couple of days.)
The word ‘sensuality’ indicates the call for the believers to ignore their awe of and worship of the Father and His Saving Son and centre on their senses and sensual self-pleasure. The word includes sexuality but is much wider meaning sold out to self sensual gratification. His use of the word ‘sensuality’ seems to ‘explode out’ the depth of his horror at the message of these false teachers.
Prayer: May I be discerning and not gullible even by plausible, ear-tickling teachers. May I be truly grounded in the Gospel, O Lord.