Jude’s Greeting

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, brother of James, to those who have been loved in God the father, and who have been guarded and called for Jesus Christ:  May mercy be to you and may peace and love be multiplied.”

(Jude 1-2)

 

As mentioned earlier, Jude identifies himself not as Jesus’ half-brother, but as Jesus’ servant and brother of James.  It is a clear reminder to us that we are to take a humble attitude when we approach leadership roles.  We are called to be servants, not masters and Jude’s attitude exemplifies just this mindset.  Jude also reminds us as we read this letter, that those of us who are called and elect are beloved to God and kept, not on our own strength but guarded by the power of God and held for Jesus.  There is a great eternal wedding that God has planned and He has called a people to himself—the church—to be the bride of his beloved son, Jesus.  What a blessing to be called beloved of God.  This is the name that God gave to Solomon (Jedidiah: see 2 Samuel 12: 25). 

The blessing is also interesting.  Not only does he pray for mercy, which is unusual (only 1 & 2 Timothy and 2 John contain mercy in their blessing), but it is the only epistle where mercy is listed first.  I think that it is an indication that there are serious problems in this church.  The people have clearly, based on the text, fallen astray, following these false teachers, they are in need of God’s mercy.

Note also that Jude’s blessing is for peace and love to be multiplied while mercy stands alone.  Though one may argue that all three of these items are connected, as many modern translations would lead you to believe, the Greek sets mercy apart from the other two blessings.  Perhaps this is because of the problems that are going on in this church.  One of the things that these false teachers are doing is to create disharmony within the fellowship and to pervert the people’s love feasts.  All sinners desperately need the mercy of God, yet, given the issues going on within this fellowship, they especially need God’s peace and love to shape their fellowship.

4 Comments

  1. Sukumaran Nayar

    My Hindu friends ask me why Mary is called virgin Mary even though she had Jesus and James as her sons. I told them about the immaculate conception but they ask me why such conceptions do not take place now.
    Give a good answer to show these fellows we are right. God bless you.

    Like

    1. preacherwin

      Good question. The short answer to your question is that the virgin birth of Jesus is meant to be understood as a miraculous event. Matthew 1:21 goes as far as to record that the child (Jesus) was conceived (passive participle of “gennao”-“to bear”, passive implying that the she was made to bear-hence in English, we translate this as conceive) by the Holy Spirit. This is meant as a one-time event as there is only one Son of God, something that I expect that your Hindu friends will likely also have some difficulty with (I have a series of blogs on John 14:6 that may prove helpful there).

      An interesting aspect of the virgin conception that also points to this as having been of miraculous and divine origin is that Jesus was born a boy. That may not seem like a big deal on the face value of it, but when you think about it, were a woman to ever “spontaneously” get pregnant with her own egg fertilizing itself, the baby would by definition have to be a girl. Biologically, Girls have two “X” chromosomes where boys have an “X” chromosome and a “Y” chromosome. For a boy to be born, the child must get the “Y” chromosome from the father, it is impossible to be gotten from the mother.

      There is another level of importance to the matter of the virgin birth that must be understood. Jesus did a number of things for us to become our mediator and make atonement on our behalf. But to do that initially, he needed to become, as Paul wrote in Romans 5:12-21 and in 1 Corinthians 15:42-49, the “Second Adam.” Adam was responsible to mediate for his descendants’ sin, yet failed when he entered into sin. Thus, Jesus, to become the new mediator, first had to be tested as Adam was tested (Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness) and had to live a sinless life (a sinless life not only being essential to stand before God as a mediator, but also being essential to make a sacrifice acceptable to God as the lamb must be “unblemished”).

      Yet, there is a problem in living a sinless life if you are born naturally into this world. We inherit the guilt of sin from our father’s before us (Exodus 34:7-see Jesus’ parable of the Unforgiving servant-Matthew 18-and ask the question as to how this servant earned a debt this large–it had to be inherited). We refer to this as the “Federal transmission of Original sin” or, more technically, “Immediate Imputation.”

      The point is this, we are all born into sin (Psalm 51:5) and that sin dominates our actions throughout life (Romans 3:10-20). If left to ourselves, we are doomed. This is because every child born in the natural way is born a child of Adam and we need to be “reborn” to become a child of God under a new mediator, Jesus Christ.

      In contrast, were there multiple children through history that were virgin born, as Jesus was–born in a supernatural way–there would be the possibility of multiple messiahs or multiple new mediators. Yet, Jesus says that he is the “only” way. Were God to impregnate multiple virgins supernaturally through history, that would make Jesus a liar and by denying Jesus’ testimony about himself, makes God the Father a liar as well (1 John 5:10). Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), so such a suggestion accuses God of being satan.

      This is a long answer to a short question, but hopefully this will give you some tools as you speak with your Hindu friends. Let me know if I can help further.

      Blessings,

      Win

      Like

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