Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hey Jude!

I have to admit...I'm behind on my reading. This past week was crazy. I'll get caught up soon though. Are some of you struggling with getting started? Staying with it? Catching up? Just do what you can. Read some everyweek. Tim Bauman suggested reading some sitting in your car before you head into work. Any other ideas to suggest?

About Jude...did you enjoy reading this short letter? It's kind of a weird epistle, the content includes a fascinating list of legendary, historical, and spiritual references to make a point: keep the faith, don't lost heart, stay holy, stick with Jesus.

Some interesting things to note: He is the brother of James (they guy who wrote the book you just finished reading the week before, which makes him a brother of Jesus Christ! Kind of a neat legacy for Jesus, two brothers contributing to the NT).

He says that Jesus led the people out of Egypt, though in Exodus it says that Moses did it.

He uses Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of how not to live.

He includes a legendary story about Michael the Archangel and the Devil - nowhere in Scripture does this little tiff get mentioned except here- and Jude uses it to teach how to respond to blasphemy...interesting use of legend.

He refers to Cain, Balaam, and Korah to discourage rebelliousness - do you know who he is referring to?

And the reference to Enoch? The quote comes from the Apocraphya...writings that Protestants don't include as Scripture, but the Catholics and Orthodox do.

Last observation, the prayer that Jude gives us to wrap up his letter is one of the most beautiful of the testament.

Why is this letter of Jude in the NT? You (and Jude's friends) live in a world where it is hard to stay with Jesus. It is easy to drift from Him. Do you feel like you are drifting? You never know you're drifting if you're eyes are on the boat or the water, only if you have the eyes up on the horizon... Have you been downcast lately? Downcastedness usually leads to drifting... Look up to Jesus. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling...


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