Jude – Session 2.2 – God’s Beloved
Ponder this question for a moment – How much do you think God the Father loves Jesus?
According to John 17:23, He loves you and me that same way and to that same degree. Have you accepted that love?
Continuing on, let’s look at verses1-3.
“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:”
So as was the tradition when writing a letter in those days, Jude introduces himself. We’ve already looked at this and have come to the conclusion that this is the ½ brother of our Lord Jesus. Remember we read (Matthew 13:53-58, which was when the people in his home town were talking about Jesus they said about him. “Is not this the carpenters son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?) This and other evidence shows that the Jude and James in this verse are the Jude and James who wrote books in the Bible. So, here is the ½ brother of Jesus, writing an epistle, a letter to the Church, and of course that means us. But what does that mean?
First, notice that he didn’t elevate his status. He called himself the brother of James, not the brother of Jesus. He called himself a servant of Jesus Christ. He didn’t elevate his status. As a matter of fact, none of the family of Jesus in the early days elevated their status. It was in times after this that parts of the church got it wrong and began to elevate Mary and others within his family, but notice, neither Jude, James, or Mary elevated themselves. They all considered him their Lord, and themselves his servant and afforded themselves no special status or privileges based on their previous family ties.
Continuing on. Jude says he is
“…a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James…”
The term “servant” is the Greek word Doulos. This word right here is worth the entire study! Every time I get to this word, either in Paul’s epistles or here in Jude, it always spurs me to do some soul searching.
A Doulos is a Servant, a slave, or a Bondservant.
Let’s look at Exodus 21:2-6
Turn if you would to the book of Exodus, chapter 21:2-6
Moses is giving the law about indentured servitude to the newly freed Hebrews.
“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free. “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.
(Exo 21:2-6 NIV)
Now the Apostle Paul explains that one of the main purposes of the Old Testament was for our learning. For examples for us. 1 Cor. 10:6 “Now these things took place as examples for us,…” So here we have a beautiful example or picture of Christ and our response to him now that he has set us free from sin. This is very relevant for us today!
1. Slave is set free (saved)
2. Loves master – Loves the one who set him free
3. Ear pierced to the doorpost of house signifies life long commitment to be under master’s authority.
Jude said he made the choice, Jesus set him free and now he willingly, out of love, gave and submitted his life back to Jesus as His bondservant forever.
What about us? Jesus has saved us, out of love have we made a lifelong commitment to follow and serve Him?
**for a more in depth study on the term doulos, from the life of the Apostle Paul, click here**
“…To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:”
Called – What does that mean to you? Is it personal? Do you know that you are called?
“Christians are called out of the world, from the evil spirit and temper of it; called above the world, to higher and better things, to heaven, things unseen and eternal; called from sin to Christ, from vanity to seriousness, from uncleanness to holiness;”
“not merely externally by the ministry of the word, but internally by the Spirit and grace of God; so that this is to be understood of a special and effectual call, whereby souls are called out of darkness into light, and from bondage to liberty; and from a dependence on themselves to the grace and righteousness of Christ; and from society with the men of the world to fellowship with him; and to eternal glory, so as to have faith and hope concerning it,”
Next word, and it’s another beautiful Word. And if you will notice. Jude is about to give a very serious, strong, sometimes seemingly harsh letter about judgment and doom of apostates. It can be a little unnerving. A little scary. But before he starts, he is very gentle. First he says they are called. Now he’s going to tell them they are loved in God the Father. In the KJV it says they are beloved. You and I are called out of darkness and into light. And you and I are God’s beloved. Loved in God the Father!
Let’s take a minute to try and wrap our minds around this, just a bit. Turn to John 17:23. This is part of what is called the high priestly prayer of Jesus. Jesus is praying for his followers, but at the time, but he also is careful to say that he is praying for you and I. He is praying for all those who will believe in him through the message of the gospel How cool is that, that Jesus was already praying for us over 2,000 years ago?
I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
(Joh 17:23 NIV)
Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Think about that for a second. Does God the Father love Jesus? How much would you say that he loves Jesus?
According to this passage, He loves you and me the same way and to the same degree that He loves Jesus.
Let me ask you another question. Have you accepted that? Have you received that? I know you know it in your head, but do you let feelings about your failures keep you from receiving that love? We’ve talked about this before. We all have this tape recorder that plays telling us how much we are less than everybody else. Romans chapter 8 basically, and I’m paraphrasing, tells us that we can turn that tape recorder off. We can re-record what God says about us, and believe it and receive it into our lives. The tape recording, and the enemy, and sometimes people who might be well meaning but over critical tells us over and over again that we don’t measure up. But God says, in Christ you do measure up. Quit worrying about being perfect and just receive my love. Amen?
We put the cart before the horse. We want to clean up our act and then receive God’s love. But it’s only when we receive and accept his love that we begin to change. If you have accepted Jesus, you are Beloved!
So we are called, we are loved, and next time we’ll find out that we are kept. Another amazing word!
Until next time, may God richly bless you and yours.
FUEL meets Thursday nights at 6:30 in the sanctuary of RockChurch
1081 Upper Spring Bay Road
East Peoria, IL 61611