by Roger Thomas

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Jude: Now for the Bad News (28 of 29)
Series: Through the New Testament
Roger Thomas

Introduction: You can't always be upbeat, positive, and encouraging. The faith is about Good News. However, sometimes you have to talk about bad news. Sometimes you can't just say what you believe. You have to take a stand against what you don't believe. That's the message of Jude. Jude is a call for a strong, courageous defense of the faith. Sometimes you don't know how valuable what you have is until you have to defend it.

Jude is our next to last book in our journey through the Bible that we began in January of 2002. It is one of the smaller books. Someone has suggested that if Romans and 1 Corinthians (and even Philippians) are letters, then Jude and the other mini-books are more like post-cards. Based on the verse count, Jude is the fifth shortest book in the Bible. The shortest books are 2 John (13), 3 John (14), Obadiah (21), Philemon (25), and Jude (25).

A bit of background. We actually don't know much about when and where the letter was written. The author simply names himself ''Jude a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.'' There are at least seven men in the New Testament with the name Jude or Judah or Judas (all variations of the same Hebrew name). (1) An ancestor of Jesus (Luke 3:30); (2) The betrayer (Mark 3:19); (3) Thaddeus, one of the 12 Apostles (Luke 6:16; John 14:22; Acts 1:13); (4) A Galilean insurrectionist (Acts 5:37); (5) A native of Damascus (Acts 9:11); (6) A prophet chosen to verify the message of the Jerusalem Counsel (Acts 15:22-27, 32); (7) The brother of James, and ½ brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3). According to our best information, this last Jude is author of our post-card. He is mentioned as one of the sons of Joseph and Mary. (Mat 1:25; 12:47; 13:55). We know little about Jude except for what he tells us here. He must have been a humble man-he is satisfied to be simply known as a servant of Jesus and rest in the shadow of ...

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