This is a short book/letter but wow, does it pack a punch – there is so much here. When I taught the book of Jude recently, it took me six weeks to get through this one chapter. Jude initially wanted to write a simple word of encouragement, but God had different plans and prompted him to write a letter of warning and urging the church to contend earnestly for the faith.
As you read through Jude you’ll notice the similarity between this work and Peter’s second letter, and there’s no doubt that Jude referenced Peter’s letter, but there are slight differences including the fact that Peter wrote his letter before it happened, and Jude wrote his letter after it happened. That certain men had crept into the church as false teachers and were turning the grace of God into a license to sin.
Jude writes to warn and remind the people that God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to judge the ungodly – big time! Just as God certain people in the Exodus who did not believe. Just as God sentenced the fallen angels who are now demons, some are reserved in darkness awaiting the judgment of the great day. Just as God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, because of the fact that they went after “strange flesh,” in reference to the blatant homosexuality of that city. God is holy and just, and we must remember He is the Judge of all the earth (Genesis 18:25).
Jude reveals that these men, who could be identified as tares among the wheat (see Matthew 13:24-30) speak evil of dignitaries and reject authority. Jude mentions however, that even Michael the Archangel didn’t have the audacity to do that, as a matter of fact, when Michael contended with the Devil over the body of Moses, he didn’t go toe-to-toe with him, he said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Some people have no problem whatsoever speaking disrespectfully of of to their spiritual leaders and here’s Michael speaking humbly…even to the devil himself. Now, just as a side-note, we don’t have the Biblical record of why the devil wanted the dead body of Moses; perhaps he wanted to desecrate the body, some even suggest that he wanted to possess Moses’ body.
Jude exposes these men as haters like Cain, greedy for gain and prophets for profit like Balaam, and rebels towards authority like Korah.
There they were in the “love feasts” of the early church…with no love. They were only in it for what they could get out of it, it wasn’t about what they could give. Clouds without water appear to bring help, but they can’t produce. They were unsaved and therefore fruitless, not just dead, but twice dead, roots and all, dangerous waves of the sea (the sea is symbolic of the mass of humanity – the antichrist will rise from the sea – Revelation 13:1) – God has reservations for these men…blackness and darkness forever! Enoch spoke of their judgment one day when Jesus comes back and there we are with Him.
Today, there are still many false teachers amongst us; may we contend for the truth, share with the lost (with urgency), and build ourselves up on our most holy faith…keeping ourselves in the love of God, right smack dab in the sphere of blessing.