Jude 1a-2 – Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.” Jude was a humble man. Humble but sure of the blessing and leading of God. He was sure of his gifting and the leading of the Holy Spirit. He was sure of the call of God.
He identifies himself as the servant of Jesus and the brother of James. Family, if our hearts are right then Jesus is always the first priority. I hear dear saints of God, saying that the first thing they want to do upon walking throne the gates of heaven is to see their beloved who have preceded them there. I likewise have loved ones there, but I assert in the strongest manner that my dear ones who are there understand that they did not make it possible for me to be in Heaven, it was Jesus. (1 Peter 1:18-19, John 14:6) Jesus paid the way, with His own blood, for me to go to Heaven and live forever with God. It was He who prepared a place for us in Heaven. So, I desperately want to see my loved ones in Heaven, but none do I want to see more than Jesus, who shall present me to the Father. (Colossians 1:22) And to thank God the Holy Spirit for loving me, bearing with me, not leaving me and sanctifying me all the way to the gates of Heaven. If that will be our heart then, then it must be our heart now. Serving the Lord must be the highest priority for every one of us.
Some will say, as if they are the only ones “but I love my family so much.” They ought to remember 1 Corinthians 10:13a. We all sorely miss our family who are in Heaven, that feeling is unique to no-one. Let’s stop and consider, if we were able to talk to one of our loved ones that genuinely are in Heaven, if they could visit with us today, don’t we know that they would counsel us to have Jesus first in our lives. That first, and most importantly, we are to serve the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our strength and all our might. This is the first of the two highest commandments. (Mark 12:30-31) And if God is the focus of our love and adoration then, then it will be evidenced because it is now so. So, though my heart is stirred by the opportunity to see my family, my first and highest hope is to see God. Nothing will be better than being in the presence of God, to see Him, to touch Him, and to hear His voice as He says “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:21) That is what I live for. There is a sure day ahead. Jesus is always the first priority. Nothing comes between us and Jesus. Praise God!
Jude in his opening remarks notes that first and foremost, more than he is the brother of James, he is the servant of Jesus Christ. He loved and respected James, but Jesus was his priority.
Jude, and his brother James, were the half-brothers of Jesus. Acts 1:13-14 states that with the Apostles waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit were women, and also specifically states that Mary, the mother of Jesus was with them. V14 also states that the brothers of Jesus were also there. Now this was not talking about brothers as in fellow believers (though at that point they were) or else the Apostles could have been included in that statement. No, this was talking about his half-brothers through His mother Mary. Another example of Jesus having natural brother and that they were distinct (at that time) from his disciples see John 7:3-5. Furthermore, in Matthew 13:55 we see Jesus’s family being named by those in his hometown: “When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us?” (Matthew 13:53-56a) Family, it is clear in the Word of God that Jesus had brothers and sisters and that James and Jude were two of His brothers.
It is true that many of us may have (in introducing ourselves at the beginning of a letter) written that Jesus was our in-the-flesh brother. So why didn’t Jude do that? He did not with great reasoning. Yes, He was humble, but the fact of their physical relationship was secondary to the fact of their spiritual relationship. The fact that Jesus was Messiah, the fact that Jesus was Savior and Lord to Him and that Jesus is preeminent over all of creation, that was what was most important to Jude. That Jesus was his natural brother was an added blessing. While here on earth, the family of Jesus did not even believe that He was the Messiah. As for the Apostles and the brothers of Jesus the real understanding and power came after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Jesus even, and not with any disrespect at all toward His mother and siblings, stressed to a crowd that those who were His family by the Spirit were His equal, or higher priority. (Mark 3:31-35) Please understand that in no way diminishes his love and care of his mother and siblings. Jesus was stressing a truth that Jude understood well. That our relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord supersedes our relationship with any family or friends here on earth. That is what Jesus expressed “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37) Yes, Jude was humble, but more than that He understood what our relationship with Jesus must be.
Brothers and Sister, let us remember that God has not called us to love our family and also God, but to love God first and foremost. Let us remember that yes, we were given life through our parents, but it was the Lord God who ordained it to be so. Our parents could not have been our parents without the blessing and ordination of God. So when we love our parents, as we should passionately and faithfully do, let us thank God for them even before we are grateful to them. When we assess our highest priority let it be found that it is God. If it is not, stop what is being done, fall on our knees and repent, for God must be highest in our lives and He allows no rivals. If our parents, or child, or any loved person is put before God, or even equal to Him, or even just a little below God, then we have made them an idol. And that would be abhorrent to any of our family who are now in Heaven. They would confirm this to us if they could. God has to be number one in our lives and so much so, that number two is out of sight. When we look to God, no-one but God should be in our focus. And that is not a burden, it is a blessing. A blessing the Lord gives to us because He loves us and knows what is best for us. So praise our God! Praise and honor our God who is above all else, and that beyond measure. Love God! Praise God! Love God!
Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown You, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of You but to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with Your God.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”This entry was posted in Devotion and tagged Acts, Corinthians, John, Jude, Mark, Matthew, Micah, Numbers, Peter, Psalm by Bob with
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