Jude – Session 1.1
Transcript of the first part of Session 1 and covers: Jude, Atomic Bomb of the Bible; and Who was Jude?
Good evening and welcome to the Summer Session of FUEL. If you’re new, FUEL is RockChurch’s mid-week Bible Study, and the concept is, in a nutshell – Life can be hard. Sometimes it can be energy depleting, but the Word of God, because it comes from the infinite mind of God who has infinite power. The Word itself contains all the power we need. Self contained in the words of the Bible is FUEL and as we break it open together, the Holy Spirit breathes on it, and on us, and we find we are refueled. Ready to keep pressing on and pressing in. So that’s what this is all about.
Now, as you know, during our Winter and Spring Sessions we spent time digging into the amazing book of Daniel and we actually completed it in early June. Now as we kick off our Summer Session we are going to start a new book. We are going to be digging into a most remarkable part of Scripture. We are going to be putting in tonight in the 2nd to last book of the Bible – The tiny book of Jude. It’s actually the 4th shortest book of the Bible. Only 2nd John, 3rd John, and Philemon are shorter. So it’s really short, but it really packs a wallop. But more on that in a minute.
Okay, so Jude. – J. Vernon McGee calls it the Atom Bomb of the Bible, because it is small but condensed and when you break it open it is full of power.
Another way to look at it is that it is like a .zip file. You know a zip file on your computer is used to take a large chunk of information and condense it. Make it smaller so it is manageable. So you can email it, or store it on a server without it taking up to much space – but then you unzip it and as it decompresses you can see that there is a lot more there.
So it is with Jude. It is like a zip file. There is a lot here.
Who was Jude?
Now the book of Jude is named for its author – Jude. But who is this guy? Would it surprise you to know that it was a guy who knew Jesus really well while he walked the earth, but didn’t really believe in him? Truth is he rejected him, until. Until he was resurrected from the dead. Then he became a believer.
So, who is he? Well Jude is a variation of the name Judas. There are at least 8 of them mentioned in the NT but through a process of elimination, Bible Scholars have been able to narrow it down to between 2. 1st was the apostle Judas (Not Iscariot but the other Judas, also known as Thaddeus). Some say the book of Jude was written by him, but we can safely say that’s not the case because he doesn’t identify himself as an apostle, and furthermore calls himself the brother of James, who we know was not related to the apostle Judas. What’s remarkable and really cool is that James and Jude were both brothers, and they were both ½ brothers to Jesus. And neither one of them believed in Jesus, until he was raised from the dead.
Let’s look at the two Scriptures that support this.
First, turn to the book of Matthew, Chapter 13: verses 53-57
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
So we see two of Jesus’ brothers are named James and Judas and we see the author of this epistle, whose name is Jesus, calls himself the brother of James, who is also verified to be a brother of Jesus. So these guys grew up with him, but they didn’t believe in him.
Let’s go ahead and turn now to the book of John chapter 7, starting in verse 1
7 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.
Ok, so this makes this epistle, which is already fascinating that much more compelling. Here we have the ½ brother of Jesus writing a letter to the Church.
(The formal name for a letter written to the Church in the Bible is an epistle and Jude’s epistle to the Church is the last of what are called the general epistles. There are two categories of epistles. The first category of epistles are the Pauline Epistles. Letters written by the Apostle Paul to the Church. Then there are the general epistles. Letters written to the Church but by multiple other authors. Peter, John, James, Jude, whoever wrote Hebrews, etc…)
So the ½ brother of Jesus, writing a letter, or epistle to the Church. It has our attention already. And it’s a little different than most of the other epistles in that it’s more of a sermon than an epistle. As a matter of fact, John MacArthur calls it an epistolary sermon.
And this is a good place to stop on this post. Tomorrow we’ll answer the question – Why? Why was this book written? What was the Holy Spirit’s purpose – what is His message to us – in writing this book?
Until then, may God bless you and yours richly!
FUEL meets Thursday nights at 6:30 in the sanctuary of RockChurch
1081 Upper Spring Bay Road
East Peoria, IL 61611