Ralph's Daily Devotional - Monday, April 23

Jude 1:1-2

Jude is probably the strangest book in all of the New Testament, and for that very reason it was and still is highly debated as to its purpose and place within the "canon" or authorized books of the New Testament.  It speaks of wonderful and incredible things that one might feel were received from Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" rather than from God's spirit.  Yet it stands on its own as an important part of Scripture, warning all of the causes and consequences of heeding false teachers and their doctrines.  Jude is not only a book of warning, but it contains one of the most beautiful assurances in all of Scripture as seen in verses 1:24,25.

Jude was probably written in the early 60's A.D.  He was the brother of James, a prominent bishop over the Jerusalem church.  More striking, he was also brother to Jesus, although he does not address himself that way.  This shows remarkable restraint and humility.  On a side note, St. Jude is the Roman Catholic patron saint of children.  To study why would be a futile exercise in fantasy so we will pass and stick to the true person and teaching of Jude.

He writes to warn the early church that as in days of old, even now there exist false teachers whose motives are to deceive others for personal gain.  They are to be avoided and will ultimately be judged by God for their evil.  False teachers here are not just people with a confused or wrong theology.  Rather they reject all authority, and their motives are in allegiance to and solidarity with the devil.  Jude, Philemon, 2 John and 3 John form the shortest books of the Bible.

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