Jude 1-2 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
The final letter in the General Epistles was written by Jude. According to tradition, this Jude was a brother of James and half-brother of Jesus. He would be the physical son of Mary and Joseph. Although Jude may have been related to Jesus through Mary and Joseph, Jude will not call himself the brother of Jesus but only the servant. The word for servant is quite strong and can mean “slave.” Jesus was the Lord and Master of Jude. Everything Jude did was in service to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He writes this short letter to “those who have been called.” The audience is broad and not specific. This means it may have been intended to be circulated among different churches. As the letter progresses, we learn that it deals with some specific issues, but the issues were faced by many churches in the first century. The readers have been called by God’s grace. The word church can mean to be “called out” of the world. These are believers who had experienced new life through Jesus Christ. They “are loved in God the Father.” They have experienced God’s love through their faith in Jesus. God’s love was real and powerful in their lives. This comes only through faith. They are “kept for Jesus Christ.” We cannot read into this the idea of eternal security in the sense that a person is saved no matter what he or she does. This statement gives security for those who put their trust in Jesus. That is where true security is found, not in our abilities. Our faith is the open door to this. Without faith sin will result, and this calls our security into question. We have nothing to fear if we keep our focus on Jesus. This statement should give us hope and peace. The simple greeting is loaded with theological implications. Mercy is God’s kindness he shows to sinners. God’s mercy is experienced as forgiveness. Ephesians 2:4 tells us that God is rich in mercy. He has mercy to give away to those who come in faith. To those who reject him, his mercy will be experienced as wrath. Salvation is a matter of God’s mercy and not human effort. God’s mercy through faith in Jesus Christ brings peace through justification (Romans 5:1). Peace is the deep hunger of humanity. Since the sin of Adam and Eve, humanity has struggled to find and experience peace. Mercy and peace come from God’s love. We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19).
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