With my senior Pastor away the next two Wednesdays I have the privilege of teaching two Bible studies. With such a short window I have opted for a verse by verse study through the book of Jude. Here are my notes on verse 1.
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called: Jude 1:1
Here is what we know or think we know about the writer, Jude. His name is Jude. He says so. He is the brother of James and most people agree the brother of the Lord Jesus. Most Bible scholars believe Jude wrote his short but pointed book around the year 65 A.D. shortly before the deaths of Peter and Paul the apostles and just a few years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
We know by his own admission he is a servant or perhaps more properly a slave of Jesus Christ. The word he uses to describe himself is “doulos”. Paul uses the same word to introduce himself in the books of Romans, Philippians and Titus. James refers to himself as a “doulos” in the introduction of his book and so does Peter in both of his epistles.
A “doulos” is one who has given up his or her rights to follow and obey someone else. In Jewish culture a man could sell himself into seven years of slavery if he could not pay his bills. If at the end of the seven years he wanted to keep serving the man to whom he had sold himself he would pierce his ear at the master’s door post and become a slave for life. This is the picture Jude is presenting to us. He is a man who has given up his final rights and is bound to serve Christ for life.
One of the greatest indictments God ever brought to me in prayer was ” J you are serving me as if this were a democracy. You allow me to make the laws but you hold veto power.” How I need the heart and understanding of a doulos. When I became a Christian I gave up my rights. I gave them all to Jesus. Now I have the responsibility to obey so that God is able to protect me and save me!
Do you see yourself as a doulos? Do you like me ever struggle with the thought? What do you do with the struggle?