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Jude 1:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
A SERVANT WRITES 1–2
The identity of the author of this letter, Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James (v. 1) may be one of its great values. He calls himself a “servant” of Jesus Christ rather than His brother. Why? Reverence and humility are the probable answers. Jude realized that his relationship with Jesus transcended the fraternal bond and was now an eternal bond in faith and obedience. What a witness for Jesus that His siblings came to grips with His true identity!
He writes to those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ (v. 1). Those are three powerful verbs: called, loved, and kept. The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament has the original order of these words as loved, kept, and called.
Being loved by God the Father is the heart of the gospel: God is love (1 John 4:16), and God so loved us that He gave us His Son (John 3:16). And John writes, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). That is the message that begins to draw the human mind and heart to God, and opens the way for life transformation.
Jude also writes that the recipients of his letter were kept by Jesus Christ. Each of the three verb forms, loved, kept, and called are in the passive form of Greek, and therefore emphasize the active grace of God in our lives, along with the commitment and discipline expected of us. Jude mentions being kept on three occasions: in the first verse, verse 21, and then at the very end in verse 24. Two different Greek verbs are used for the three occasions, however. The Greek word for kept in verse 1 means steadfast care and nurture of something in one’s possession. In verse 21, he instructs us to keep ourselves in God’s love. The second Greek verb is used in verse 24 and means “to guard something or someone from attack and destruction.”
What? Me Called?
Many in the Wesleyan tradition think of the term called as relating to people God calls to ministry as a vocation, which is indeed a unique calling. However, God calls us all in many ways for many reasons. A very basic study of Scripture reveals the following about being “called”:
• Jesus called His disciples to follow Him (Matt. 4:18–20).
• Jesus said to all, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28–30).
• We have a call to holy living (1 Thess. 4:7; 1 Pet. 1:15).
• We are challenged to live up to our calling as Christians (Eph. 4:1).
• We must make our calling sure, or secure (2 Pet. 1:10).
• We are called to imitate God and walk in love, like Christ (Eph. 5:1–2).
• God calls us to be living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1).
• We are called to walk in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21).
Yes, each of us has a set of lofty callings from God! Let us hold our heads high, and walk in the paths He has set before us.
So Jude offers a great balance of God’s care and protection as well as our responsibility to nurture and discipline ourselves in the grace and love of God. Once again, we understand the Christian faith as a mutual, though not equal, relationship between ourselves and God.
He writes to those who have been called. God’s call is what gives us a place and purpose in life. He calls us to himself, to reconciliation, to holiness, and to service.
Jude then offers three gifts of grace when he says, Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance (v. 2). God gives us some major breaks in His mercy. The Greek word eleos refers to mercy, compassion, and pity. God overlooks so much that deserves divine wrath. He longs for us to come to our senses and repent, finding forgiveness and transformation of life in Christ.
Peace is a key term in describing the kingdom of God. Several times, the Bible refers to “the God of peace” (Rom. 15:33; 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20). We are called to peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). Jesus said that in Him we can have peace (John 16:33), and the world cannot take it away. Jesus blesses the peacemakers (Matt. 5:9), and one part of the fruit of the Spirit is peace (Gal. 5:22). Then, we are called to a ministry of reconciliation in bringing peace and harmony to relationships (2 Cor. 5:16–20).
By David A. Case and David W. Holdren
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 David A. Case and David W. Holdren, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude: A Commentary for Bible Students (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2006), 361–363.