Jude, another of Jesus’ brothers, wants to share a word with us. He has done a 180 since the day he was outside trying to drag his brother home.
Jude doesn’t call himself the brother of Jesus. Instead he shares his relationship to Him by sharing his relationship to another of Jesus’ brothers, James. These are not uncommon names but our bible historians tell us that Jude was indeed one of Jesus’ brothers. I think Jude withholds that title from himself because he doesn’t feel worthy of it.
If you remember back to Jesus’ ministry time, His family thought he was nuts! At one point they tried to drag Him out of a house where He was teaching. Matthew, Mark and Luke all three record this event. Mark gives us background into their thinking. Remember that this is Jesus’ earthly family, including His mother and brothers at least. The group coming to collect Him may have even included His sisters, as he mentions sisters in His rebuke of them.
But His family didn’t stay in the camp of “He’s crazy” after His death. They finally understood the truth. And they joined the group that He said were His real family; “For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35). So Jesus’ TRUE brother, on all fronts, is sharing with us today.
Many of us have “lost” family members. It is a GREAT joy when one of them finally recognizes their need for Jesus. Imagine how much joy it brought to Jesus to have His earthly family finally get it. From “He’s full of Himself” to “Please fill me with Yourself!” Now Jude, little brother, calls himself “a servant of Jesus Christ” (verse 1a). He also numbers himself among the “beloved in God the Father” and one who is “kept for Jesus Christ” (verse 1b). What a JOY to be so named!
Jude ends his introduction with a heartfelt prayer; “May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you” (verse 2). He received ALL these things and is MORE than grateful and wants everyone else who calls on his Brother’s name to receive them also, IN SPADES! I’LL TAKE THAT PRAYER!
Lord Jesus, I can’t imagine Your joy when Your earthly family finally saw the truth. I’m waiting for some of mine to do the same, but I wasn’t anywhere near the example to them that You were to Yours. It’s hard to wait for them because I know how dangerous life can be here on earth. And I know the fate that awaits those who reject You. My heart wants to shake them and yell at them to WAKE UP! But I can’t do that. It has to be their decision. If it would have worked any other way I’m sure You would have tried it on Your family too. How many of them never believed? My heart breaks for Your loss. I DON’T want to join You in that loss! PLEASE Lord Jesus, reach my family! I, once again, place them back in Your hands.
Thank You for ALL You have done for me. Thank You for letting me be part of Your family. Thank You for even letting me be Your servant. I’ll take that position any time over being left out. Let my children discover the JOY in being part of Your family and Your plan. I will leave them in Your hands but I will never stop asking “is it time yet” on their behalf. Expectant faith!