Jude 1:1, 2
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ…
This brief Epistle is remarkable for its triple order of ideas, carried through to the very end. The first instance occurs in the account the author gives of himself - "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James."
1. Who was Jude? There are two persons of the name represented as relatives of James. There is Jude the apostle, brother or son of James the martyr (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13), who is also called Lebbaeus; and there is this Jude, the brother of James - that is James the Just, the brother of the Lord (Galatians 1:19), president of the council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:13). The author of this Epistle was, therefore, a younger brother of our Lord and a younger son of Joseph and Mary. He was not an apostle, else he would probably have called himself so. He did not believe in our Lord during his ministry (John 7:5), but became a convert after the Resurrection (Acts 1:14).
2. His official position. He was "a servant of Jesus Christ," not merely in the larger sense in which all saints are so, but in the special sense of his official relation to the Church as an evangelist.
(1) It is an honour to be in the service of such a Master.
(2) Our service ought to he
(a) to him alone (Matthew 6:24);
(b) and to be a diligent, cheerful, and constant service.
(3) Those who would lead others to serve Christ must themselves set the example.
3. His relationship to James. Jude mentions this fact:
(1) Partly that he may distinguish himself from others like Judas the apostle and Judas Iscariot.
(2) Partly to substantiate his claim to a hearing from his relationship to one more celebrated and better known in the Church; James was at once "the Lord's brother," "a pillar in the Church" (Galatians 2:9), and a saintly character.
(3) Partly as implying an agreement in doctrine between James and himself.
(4) Had Jude been an apostle, he would hardly have mentioned this relationship, inasmuch as he could have asserted a much stronger claim.
(5) It may be asked - Why did he not rather mention his relationship to Christ himself?
(a) He may have been led by religious feeling, like James himself in his Epistle, to omit all reference to this matter.
(b) The ascension of Christ had altered the character of this earthly relationship.
(c) Such a course would have been inconsistent with the spirit and teaching of our Lord himself, who taught that those who did his will were more nearly allied to him than earthly kin (Luke 11:27, 28).
II. THE PERSONS TO WHOM THE EPISTLE WAS ADDRESSED. "To them that are called, beloved in God the Father, and preserved for Jesus Christ." Here, again, we have a triple order of ideas. He addresses true saints of God.
1. They were called. This is the familiar Pauline description of the saints. They are called
(1) out of darkness into God's marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
(2) The calling is "according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
(3) Not according to works (2 Timothy 1:9).
(4) It is a high calling,
(5) a holy calling; and. therefore saints ought to live suitably thereto.
2. They were beloved in God the Father. This is a unique expression in the New Testament. The tense of the participle implies the love as a continuously existing fact. The Father is the Source of all love-experiences, the sphere in which love is displayed; for God is love.
3. They were preserved for Jesus Christ.
(1) Their preservation does not depend upon their own holiness or effort.
(2) It depends on God's purpose, on his calling, on his grace, lie is able to "keep them from failing" (verse 24). Christ shall "confirm them to the end" (1 Corinthians 1:8); no one shall pluck them out of his hand (John 10:29); their seed abideth in them (1 John 3:9); the fear of the Lord in their hearts shall keep them from departing from him (Jeremiah 32:40); they are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation" (1 Peter 1:5).
(3) They are preserved
(a) from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13);
(b) from the evil of the world (John 17:15);
(c) from falling (verse 24);
(d) from the touch of the evil one (1 John 5:18).
(4) They are preserved for the day of Christ's coming. That signifies their steadfast perseverance till death. The Apostle Paul placed his stuff, as an immortal deposit, in Christ's hands, with the full persuasion that it would be safely kept "till that day" (2 Timothy 1:12). The saints are kept for the glory of Immanuel in his everlasting kingdom.
III. THE SALUTATION. "Mercy unto you and peace and love be multiplied." Another triplet.
1. Mercy is from the Father. It is his distinguishing attribute. "His mercy endureth for ever." There is forgiving mercy, providing mercy, restrain-inn mercy, restoring mercy, crowning mercy. He has "bowels of mercy." He "delights to show mercy."
2. Peace is through the Son.
(1) He is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14), as "the chastisement of our peace was upon him" (Isaiah 53:5).
(2) He gives peace (John 14:27).
(3) He preached peace (Ephesians 2:17). Therefore great shall be the peace of God's children.
3. Love is from the Holy Ghost. He sheds it abroad in the heart (Romans 5:5). There is "a love of the Spirit" (Romans 15:30). The Christian has experience of love objective and subjective.
4. Jude prays that these graces may be multiplied.
(1) This implies that saints are till death incomplete in their graces. There never will come a time in which this prayer may not be offered for saints in the flesh.
(2) This prayer has an eye to the glory of God as well as to the comfort and peace of believers.
(3) The Lord is always willing to impart his best gifts.
(4) He has abundance of grace for all his children, and for all the exigencies of their life. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
WEB: Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: