Jude and the supremacy of Jesus Christ

Apostle_JudeJude 1:1-2

[a]Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of [b]James,

To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. (NASB)

Is it not fascinating that Jude, the brother of our Lord, refers to himself merely as the servant of Jesus Christ? While some exegetes have questioned whether Jude really wrote this short treatise it is my conviction that the Jude we are dealing with is the brother of our Lord and James the Just of Jerusalem. If this is true then it is incredible that Jude chooses to identify as the servant of Jesus rather than as his brother. Even more so, not just the servant but the “bond-servant”. In our current culture we understand full well what a servant is but the concept of a bond-servant has been lost. In the day when Jude wrote (probably sometime around AD 65 to AD 90) people would have understood what Jude meant when he called himself the Lord’s bond-servant. What Jude was saying that he was totally subject to Jesus in every aspect of his life for the entirety of his life. This is remarkable for two reasons in my view. As a person with three brothers myself, the thought of viewing any of them (despite my deep love for all of them) as my supreme master is distasteful. As I am sure it would be for any of them if they were in my hypothetical position as well. I am sure that Jude probably felt the same way during most of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Gospel of Matthew records that Jesus’ family did not accept his claims to divinity and messiahship. When we take these points into account we can see that Jude underwent a radical transformation. He went from outright rejection of his brother to accepting him as Savior and Lord. As Christians I believe we can learn from Jude’s example of submission and total subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has done so much by dying on the cross for us! How can we not seek to honor his sacrifice with our obedience, fealty, and love. To use the old Christian phrase “Our lamb has conquered, let us follow him”. Let us also not forget our Lord’s words when he said “If you love me, keep my commandments”. You see, in the New Testament the idea of a Christian who does not try to live in obedience to the Holy Godhead is something of a misnomer. This is not to say that we are justified by works or have to earn God’s grace but merely that one who truly believes in Jesus will seek to live a holy life in obedience to Jesus Christ. For Jude the most defining aspect of his identity was not his familial kinship to Jesus Christ but the Kingship of Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord!

PS- More insights into the book of Jude to follow in the near future!


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