"...PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST TO
THAT WHICH IS GOOD..." 1TH 5:21
'CP' denotes 'compare passage'
1:1 Who is Jude and to whom is he writing?
Like James, author of the epistle James, Jude is a half-brother of Jesus (CP Mt 13:53-56). Again, like James, Jude did not believe that Jesus was Messiah during Jesus' lifetime. He thought that Jesus was just a religious fanatic (CP Jn 7:2-5 with Mk 3:20-21, 31-35). Friends in Mk 3:21 (KJV), means family, which we see in V 31-35 are Jesus' mother and brothers. After Jesus ascended to heaven, Jude waited with those assembled in the upper room, together with Mary and Christ's other brothers, for the coming of the Holy Spirit (CP Ac 1:13-14). Apart from Mt 13:55 and Jude 1:1, Jude is not mentioned by name in scripture; he is only included in the term "the brethren of the Lord" (CP 1 Cor 9:5). See also comments on Mt 12:46-47, Mk 3:20-21, Jas 1:1.
Jude wrote this epistle to all Christians in all ages "...to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called", warning them to beware of false teachers (CP Jude 1:3-4). Faith here refers to the pure faith of true christianity; the truth about God in Christ which has been handed down from believer to believer since the apostles. Every Christian is responsible for maintaining that truth uncompromisingly, and carefully committing it to others (CP Mt 28:19-20 with Php 1:27; 1 Ti 1:5, 18-19; 6:12-14; 2 Ti 1:13-14). Jude's exhortation to believers in Jude 1:3 to earnestly contend for the faith, impresses upon us the importance of believers being thoroughly grounded in God's word. Every believer must be capable of taking a direct stand against those in the professing church who deny the absolute truth of scripture or distort the pure faith of true christianity as taught by Christ Himself (CP 2 Pe 2:1; 1 Jn 2:22-23; 5:4-5). However, believers must also be prepared to accept martyrdom if need be in their defence of the faith (CP 2 Ti 4:6-8).
1:6 See comments on 2 Pe 2:4-6
1:8 See comments on 2 Pe 2:10
1:11 Who is Core (KJV) to whom Jude refers here?
Jude is referring here to Korah, one of the dissenters in the Old Testament who rebelled against Moses' and Aaron's leadership of the Israelites in the wilderness which God had ordained. He and the three other rebel leaders and their families were supernaturally killed
when the earth opened up and swallowed them alive. 250 of their followers were also supernaturally killed by fire at the same time (CP Nu 16:1-35).
1:12-19 See comments on 2 Pe 2:20-22
1:14 Who is Enoch?
Enoch was an Old Testament saint who was translated alive to heaven. He is still there, which makes him the oldest living human being - well over 5000 years old (CP Gen 5:18-24; He 11:5). Many in the church believe that Enoch will be one of God's two witnesses in the earth during the great tribulation (CP Zech 4:1-3, 11-14; Rev 11:3-12). The other witness will be Elijah (CP Mal 4:5-6). Elijah was also translated alive to heaven (CP 2 Ki 2:1-12). The argument for Enoch being one of the two witnesses is that because, like Elijah, he has yet to die. Scriptures teach that all men have to die once and because the two witnesses die, it is therefore Enoch and Elijah who are the two witnesses (CP He 9:27). For this scripture to be fulfilled the only two Old Testament witnesses still living, Enoch and Elijah, will both have to die.
1:22-23 How are we to understand what Jude says here?
Opinions vary among bible scholars as to the exact meaning of what Jude says here. Some claim he is referring to two classes of people ("on some have compassion ... and others save with fear"(KJV)). Others claim he is referring to three classes of people (those who doubt, others who are saved from the fire; and a third group who receive pity (NIV, RSV)). Suffice it to say, regardless of how many classes of people Jude is referring to, they all need to be saved. Christians must have compassion on them all, and pity for their unsaved condition. Christians must use their best endeavours to get as many saved as possible ... save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
To save with fear is admonishing Christians to exercise care when dealing with defiled people lest they fall into the same temptation and become defiled themselves (CP Ro 11:20-21; 1 Cor 10:12; Ga 6:1; 2 Ti 2:24-26). Pulling them out of the fire means saving them from the judgment of hell's fire to which they would be liable if not saved (CP Amos 4:11; Rev 20:11-15). The garment spotted by the flesh illustrates the sinner's debauched life (CP Zech 3:1-4).