The book of Jude is an interesting one. He starts off his letter saying that he was very eager to write to them about their salvation. This was a man that was joyous about their faith. In fact he was so overjoyed, he wanted to write about it. However, he was too busy to write them until now. You can almost picture him sitting down to write. A man, overworked by his ministry, exhausted from all that he had done that week, sitting down to write. He is giddy with joy almost like a little kid excited about getting some candy. This kind of joy is what we should have. We should want to talk to other Christians about our salvation that we hold in common. Isn’t it wonderful that God would send His only Son to die on the cross for our sins? This is something that we, as a community of believers, should want to talk about. We should continually want to talk about this wonderful thing that Christ did for us. This should not stay within our Christian communities; however, we should want to tell others that don’t know this joy that we have. Our joy should spill over and affect those around us.
Despite Jude’s joy, he feels compelled to no longer write about their salvation, rather he feels the need to urge them to contend for their faith. This word literally means to fight for something. You can almost picture this man as the seriousness of the situation comes over him. His face begins to drop. All of the wrinkles in his face that have been developed over the years of ministry from worry and stress begin to become more apparent. His eyebrows furrow and his eyes soften. It is the picture of a concerned counselor, or, even better yet, the picture of a concerned father for his child that has made some poor choices. The people that Jude were writing to were experiencing many false teachers. This was their poor choice. These false teachers were not sneaking in a false doctrine or two. Rather, they were outright denying Christ’s authority and claiming it for their own.
These people weren’t the only ones that Jude was writing a warning about. He was also warning them about the divisive, rebellious, and greedy people. All of these people had slowly worked their way into the church. While it is easy to say that we don't have these kinds of people in our church, we should take another look. Do people come to mind when you hear the word greedy? This is not only for money, but can be for attention or even for relationships. How about people that are rebellious? Do you know anybody that does not like authority? Whether that is the boss, parents, local or state authority, or dare I say the president of the United States? Isn't even he an authority in our lives even if we don’t like him? Now let’s move on to divisive. Do you know anybody that’s divisive? This covers a broad spectrum from those that grumble and complain to those that are outright throwing insults at others. Now we must move on to an even harder question. Do you see yourself in any of these areas? Be honest with yourself and take some time to really think about it. I know that I fit the bill for these characteristics. This letter is not that far off for us. It is almost as if Jude was writing to us. Let us continue to see what areas of our lives that we must address to become more Christ-like.
As we continue to work our way through this letter we will explore these areas deeper. If you do not see yourself in these areas, I urge you to continue each week with an open heart willing to learn and to allow the Holy Spirit to work. Allow Him to move within you and bring conviction when there is need for conviction and joy when there are times of joy. This will be a time of learning for both me and you. Let us learn more about Christ together. Oh, what a joy it will be though it may not always be easy!