Who wrote it?
Jude 1 identifies the author as Jude, a brother of James. This likely refers to Jesus’ half-brother Jude, as Jesus also had a half-brother named James (Matthew 13:55). Jude likely does not identify himself as a brother of Jesus out of humility and reverence for Christ.
When(ish) was it written?
Jude is closely related to the book of 2 Peter. The date of authorship for Jude depends on whether Jude used content from 2 Peter, or Peter used content from Jude when writing 2 Peter. The book of Jude was written somewhere between AD 60-80.
Why was it written?
Jude is an important book for us today because it is written for the end times, for the end of the church age. The church age began at the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came onto the scene. Jude is the only book given entirely to the great abandonment of faith. Jude writes that evil works are the evidence of this. He admonishes us to fight for the faith, for there are weeds among the wheat. False prophets are in the church and the saints are in danger. Jude is a small but important book worthy of study, written for the Christian of today.
Some Key Verses
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
– Jude 3
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.
– Jude 17-19
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
– Jude 24-25
A Quick Summary
According to verse 3, Jude was anxious to write about our salvation; however, he changed topics to address contending for the faith. This faith embodies the complete body of Christian doctrine taught by Christ, later passed on to the apostles. After Jude warns of false teachers (verses 4-16), he advises us on how we can succeed in spiritual warfare (verses 20-21). Here is wisdom we would do well to accept and adhere to as we go through these days of the end times.
Old Testament Ties
Jude is filled with references to the Old Testament, including the Exodus (Jude 5); Satan’s rebellion (Jude 6); Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7); Moses’ death (Jude 9); Cain (Jude 11); Balaam (Jude 11); Korah (Jude 11); Enoch (Jude 14,15); and Adam (Jude 14). Jude’s use of the well-known historical illustrations of Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam, and Korah reminded the Jewish Christians of the necessity of true faith and obedience.
What does this mean?
We live in a unique time in history and this little book can help equip us for the untold challenges of living in the end times. Today’s Christian must be on guard for false teachings that can so easily deceive us if we aren’t well versed in the Word. We need to know the Gospel—to protect and defend it—and accept the Lordship of Christ.
Authentic faith always reflects Christ-like behavior. Our life in Christ should reflect our very own heart-knowledge that rests on the authority of God the Father and puts faith into practice.
Take a few minutes to read aloud the Scripture from Jude. What verses or ideas stand out to you from this passage? What questions do you have? What “next step” are you considering as a result of your interaction with God’s Word?
Jude says that the core truths of the Christian faith are unchanging, that the Gospel was delivered “once for all” to the saints. How is this message received in our culture today? What are some specific ways you’ve seen the truth get twisted or “perverted?”
Describe a situation where you chose to “contend” for the faith. Are you more likely to speak truth while lacking in grace, or to be gracious while lacking in truthfulness? Where is your opportunity to grow in this area of your life?
The Biblical sexual ethic is that all expressions of sexuality belong within the context one marriage between one man and one woman for one lifetime. How is this message received in our culture today? How are you personally challenged or encouraged by this truth?
How can your Small Group pray for you? Is there a change you’re considering in your own life? Is there a relationship you feel convicted about? Is someone close to you trapped in sexual sin? How does the saving truth of Jesus bring you comfort?