I first discovered Jude when I was a year into knowing Jesus and full of uncertainty about what that actually meant. I’d spent the majority of my Bible reading in the common books like John, Romans, and Psalms—all of the books Christians liked to quote—and not once had I heard them make reference to Jude.
I don’t know how I didn’t notice it myself, as if I didn’t have to see it after skimming through 3 John and before tiptoeing toward Revelation. But when I did, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. As I read, the talk of angels being kept in chains and the devil arguing with an archangel over Moses’ body was all too odd for me to even try to understand, but I kept going anyway, trusting that God must have something to say to me in this strange little book.
Eventually the words, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling ...” (Jude 24a) stood up and looked me dead in the face. I didn’t keep reading to the end of the sentence; I stayed there, staring at the words, hoping they were true. For far too long in my Christian faith, I’d been afraid that my being kept was dependent upon the strength of my own hands, but according to Jude, it was Him who was able, not me. It was unnerving that this book that I’d been ignoring for so long had a heaven-sent answer to my unsaid questions.
Because Jude is God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16), it can do all of the above and so much more. When I originally read Jude, the closing doxology is what stood out to me most, but after spending a significant amount of time in Jude in preparation for this study, I now see that this letter has so much to teach us about how to live in our current cultural climate as well.
Jude’s letter will not only teach you about God’s mercy through Jesus Christ, but it’ll also challenge you to be merciful. It won’t just provide wisdom on how to love those who are falling, but it will also instruct you on how to remain standing. The truth might hurt sometimes, but it’s what sets us free. God has a lot to say, and I’m encouraged that you’ve made the commitment to listen.