Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jude 1-2

There are layers of thick theology in Jude's brief, two-verse salutation. He wants to be known as a slave. This is a beautiful enough picture to discuss and delve into. Yet, he wants to be known as a slave of his brother, the Messiah! Even the Greek structure of "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ" [ESV] is only shared by James, another earthly brother of our Lord. No other NT writers depict their servanthood in the the same way as Jude and James.

Furthermore, in his introductory benediction, he extends mercy, peace, and love to whom he his writing. This blessing is also unique to Jude. Perhaps there is something about each of these that he desires people to cling to as they "earnestly contend for the faith" [Jd 3].

Lastly, his addressees are merely "the called ones." These are the first and last words in the following Greek phrase:

τοῖς ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ ἠγαπημένοις καὶ ἸησοῦΧριστῷ τετηρημένοις κλητοῖς

Now, notice how the middle of this phrase is structured:
ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ ἠγαπημένοις

ἸησοῦΧριστῷ τετηρημένοις
Their calling is not vague, detached, or meaningless. Their calling is bound up in the fact that they are loved by God and kept by Jesus Christ. This may not land on you they way it should. Maybe it didn't land on them as Jude intended. But after he warns them of false teachers in their midst who are destructively leading people astray, his closing doxology ends by saying, "To Him who is able to KEEP you... be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all ages and now and unto all ages" [Jd 24-25]. They definitely get it now.

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