Jude is another name that only appears once in the Bible. It’s the first word in the opening sentence of the letter that bears his name. Though the introduction gives hints as to who Jude is, no one knows for sure.
Jude calls himself a servant of Jesus and a brother of James. One speculation is that Jude is a nickname for Judas, which could make him, along with James, a half-brother to Jesus.
Regardless of who Jude is, he writes a generic letter, not to a church or an individual, but to all who follow Jesus. He blesses them with abundant mercy, peace, and love.
Though he planned to write about their common salvation, instead he writes to encourage them to contend for their faith.
Why is this? Because ungodly people have slipped into Jesus’s church.
What are they doing? They’re turning God’s grace (undeserved favor) into an excuse to act immorally. They claim they can behave however they wish because God will forgive them.
Though immorality covers a range of improper behaviors, it especially refers to sexual issues. In short, these people act out sexually because they claim what they do doesn’t matter.
In addition to their sexual depravity, they also deny that Jesus is their Savior. How they can do this and still assume he’ll forgive them doesn’t make sense. But they advocate it just the same.
To combat this, Jude reminds his friends about the past, urging them to persevere in standing true to their faith in God.
We must guard against improper sexual behavior in the church. And we must guard against people who claim Jesus isn’t the way to salvation.
Where do we draw the line between accepting those who believe differently than we do and standing up against people who try to corrupt our faith?
[Discover more about Jude in Jude 1:1–25.]
Read more about other people in the New Testament in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.