Reading for Friday, Dec 28: Jude
Jude writes to combat specific false teachers who are corrupting the Christian faith. By the time of this writing, the Christian faith has been “fixed”, established by apostolic authority and delivered to the saints (v3), which is way Jude writes that the beloved are to contend for the faith.
A string of interesting and confusing statements follow, beginning with Jude’s declaration that Jesus was active in the liberation of Israel from Egypt (v5). Grace and judgment combine here in the actions of Jesus as He simultaneously rescues His people but destroys those who do not believe. But we’re given a fascinating way of interpreting Scripture: it seems that Jude is reinforcing a Christo-centric reading of the OT, which is to say that the Story of God is ultimately the Story of Jesus.
Rather than wavering in their faith, Jude exhorts his audience to stand fast. “Build yourselves up in our most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life,” (v20-21). Here we find an early Trinitarian confession. It seems that the earliest believers were already declaring the mystery of God’s relational nature: Father, Son, Spirit, three in one.
And finally, Jude concludes with a beautiful doxology, a fitting end to our study this year:
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”