Monday, December 24, 2012

Jude: When all else fails, use fear

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Back to wikipedia, apparently the authenticity of this book was never doubted, but it's canon status was. "The links between the Epistle and 2 Peter, its use of the Apocryphal Books, and its brevity raised concern." The links between Jude and 2 Peter are that they are too similar, and either one was copied from the other, or they both used a common source.

Greeting (v. 1-2)

Jude identifies himself as the writer and he says he is writing to those who believe in Jesus.

Judgment on False Teachers (v. 3-16)

Be careful, some ungodly people have crept in to the church hierarchy to pervert it.

Now this is interesting, it is basically admitting that there are bad people within the church and that you should be wary of that. I know there have been previous messages about false prophets and such, but this explicitly says that are from within the church, which wasn't the message I got before. I'm not sure if it wasn't implied before or if I was just being thick.

Don't forget, Jesus saved a people out of Egypt, but also destroyed those who did not believe. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities served as an example of those who deserve a punishment of fire.

It was Sodom and gomorrah and surrounding cities? I don't think I've ever heard that before. Also, I'd like to point out that in this version of the story it is Jesus who is doing these things. I guess this is consistent if Jesus=God.

Don't forget about the angels who sinned and are being kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until judgment day.

Whoa, I'm guessing stuff like this is why the canon of this book is questioned.

These people, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious one.

Interesting what is chosen as the horrible thing to do, defile flesh (sex), reject authority and blaspheme. These really don't seem like the worst sins to commit to me.

According to Guzik, the bit about their dreams means that they were dreamers out of touch with reality. It also could mean that they were relying on supposedly prophetic dreams. Seems like a reasonable enough interpretation to me.

v10 "these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively."

This verse really jumped out at me. Does it really make sense for blasphemy to be so horrible if the person doing it doesn't understand what they are doing? It's one thing to understand what God is and blaspheme against him, at least that makes sense for God to get irritated by. But if someone doesn't even understand it and blasphemes, it is basically on accident right? I mean, if a young child or a mentally deficient person commits a crime which they don't understand, we don't punish them in the same way we punish an adult who knows what they are doing. You are being punished for ignorance. Furthermore, you are punished for you animal instincts, which presumably God gave you. Seems pretty damn unfair to me.

Enoch prophesied that Jesus would come with 10,000 holy ones to execute judgment on the ungodly.

Why does God need such a posse?

A Call to Persevere (v. 17-23)

Remember that Jesus said there would be scoffers in the last time. Keep yourselves in the in the love of God.  Wait for the mercy of Jesus that leads to eternal life, and have mercy on those who doubt and save them from the fire. To others "show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh."

Again, it seems that the end times are said to be near, although this one is less solid than many others we have seen in the past. Also, I'm not sure what that last line means, but it sounds like we are supposed to save those we can and fear those we can't. 

According to Guzik  this second group must be saved with fear. They need to be confronted more strongly but with the right approach can be saved. I suppose this is consistent with the reading.

Doxology (v. 24-25)

Jesus is great.

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation)


Jude 4 Be aware of enemies in your midst

"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."

Jude 22 Help those who need it

"And have mercy on those who doubt"


Jude 8 Sex, disobedience, and blasphemy are the worst sins

"Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones."

Jude 10 Punished for ignorance and following God given instincts

"But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively."

Jude 18-19 End times prediction

"They said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions." It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit."

Jude 23 Use fear tactics if necessary

"save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh."


  1. That line about ungodly people causing division reminded me of what Jesus, the Prince of Peace, said in Matthew 10:34-36:

    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'” NIV


    1. Yeah, that line from matthew is pretty damning. I've brought it up quite a number of times and nobody ever really seems to have a good response to it. It is hard to work around a verse that is so cut and dry.

  2. I have been super busy and have missed catching up on your posts. I just wanted to stop in and wish you and your family a happy holiday (or whatever it is you do tonight/tomorrow)---enjoy!


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