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44 Days Through the New Testament – Day 40

1 John 5 – 3 John 1

I always like it when an author declares a straightforward reason for why they are writing something. John does that near the end of his first letter.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 John 5:13, ESV

By his own admission, he is writing this letter to comfort those who believe in the name of the Son of God. He wants his audience (those who believe!) to have full confidence that they will be with Jesus in eternity.

I love that! I have spoke to so many people who do not know whether or not they will be with Jesus when they die -or maybe with some other god that they have chosen to follow. How tragic! For those of us who believe in the name of the Son of God, for those of us who have truly put our faith in Christ alone for salvation, we WILL be with Jesus when we die.

Hallelujah!

Jude – Revelation 2

Jude is an interesting author. Who is he?

This is how he introduces himself:

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James

Jude 1:1a, ESV

Interesting.

He names himself as a servant of Jesus Christ and as a brother of James. Which James? We know it is not the apostle James, because church history has shown that James the brother of John was actually the first of the 12 apostles to be martyred. It was likely around 44 A.D. when James was killed by the sword by order of King Herod Agrippa during some of the earliest persecution of the church.

It seems like it would also be odd to name yourself as a brother of James but not a brother of John. John would have been the brother who was actually still alive if that were the case.

So which James is it?

I believe that Jude is actually a brother of James who wrote the book of James. But wait, that James was a brother of Jesus! Wouldn’t that make Jude also a brother of Jesus?

I think so.

If that is true, it makes his opening line even more interesting. Even though he is a brother to Jesus, he refers to himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ”.

There is something in this humility from Jude that I find to be encouraging, challenging, and inspiring.

Though we who have put our faith in Christ have been adopted into God’s family, and have become co-heirs with Christ, I still consider myself to be a servant of Jesus Christ.

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