Jude identified himself as a follower of Jesus Christ and “a brother of James.” Jude was listed among the brothers of Jesus (Mark 6:3). His brother James is the probable author of the epistle of James. Jude gave no geographical designation to his readers, but he presented them as those who were “called,” “loved by God,” and “kept by Jesus Christ.” Jude wished his readers an experience of mercy that would allow them to know the benefits of peace and love.
Occasion for Writing (3–4)
Jude had prepared to write a letter on the theme of “salvation” when he learned of the entrance of false teachers. He urged his readers to contend for the faith by living godly, obedient lives. He described the false teachers as “godless men,” who stood condemned before God because of their denial of Jesus’ lordship.
Be Alert (5–16)
Jude pictured the heretics as deserving to receive God’s judgments just as the unbelieving Jews, the sinning angels, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah had merited judgment. He showed that the false teachers were arrogantly defying God by their perverse moral behavior. They disdained angelic creatures whom they failed to understand. Jude commended the example of the angel Michael, who did not deal with the devil’s protests on his own authority. Jude used this story from the apocryphal Assumption of Moses to demonstrate a proper attitude toward the supernatural. In verses 10–13 he used historical examples from the Old Testament to characterize the false teachers as materialistic and immoral. They were as greedy as Balaam and as rebellious as Korah. In verses 14–15 Jude cited a statement from 1 Enoch to prove the reality of divine judgment upon the ungodly. Jude was not necessarily viewing 1 Enoch as inspired, but he was referring to a book his readers would know and respect.
Jude reminded his readers that the apostles had warned against the divisiveness and spiritual emptiness of the coming false teachers. The recipients were to build themselves up with prayer and obedience. They also were to offer help to wandering believers who need both an experience of divine mercy and the wisdom to avoid corruption.
Jude’s mind focused on the power of almighty God who alone could provide the strength needed for full obedience. In verse 24 he praised God for His sustaining power toward believers. In verse 25 he ascribed “glory, majesty, power and authority” to God because of the work of Jesus Christ.