Jude 1:24-25[ref]NIV New International Version Translations[/ref]
24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
The letter of Jude is a thunderous word from a man who refers to himself in the first verse simply as, Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. Jude is a brother of James. There was more than one James, but the James here and Jude were probably the half-brothers of Jesus. That identifies him, for James was very well known as a leader in the early church in Jerusalem, and he was also the author of the Epistle of James which we have in our New Testament. But he was famous not only because he was in himself an outstanding man, but also because he was the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ — the physical half-brother of Jesus. He had grown up in the little town in Nazareth with Jesus himself.
Notice that he says nothing about this relationship in the opening of his letter, instead refers to himself as “a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.” In that we can see that this man who grew up with the Lord Jesus and his brother James has now learned to see Jesus, no longer after the flesh, but as he truly was — God become man. He now worships him. Jude and James had a unique experience in the Christian church, in becoming the disciples of the One with whom they grew up.
What clear testimony this gives of the deity of the Lord Jesus. If anyone would be in a position to refute the claim of Jesus of being God, it would be the brothers of Jesus. Although they did not come to believe in him until after his resurrection from the dead, nevertheless these letters constitute a seal of confirmation that the claims of the New Testament concerning Jesus Christ are valid, in that they are supported even by those who would have every reason to deny them.
The word “keep” in verse 24 is not the Greek verb tereo, which means “to watch over or care for.” That verb was used for somebody taking care of a sick person or caring for sheep, for example. The word that Jude uses is phulasso, which means “to watch in the case of attack.” It stresses safe custody under attack. As a Christian, you may be attacked, but God is going to watch to make sure you are safe. God not only keeps us with watchful care, but He guards us as One who knows that we must be kept in safe custody when under attack. What security! God is able to keep us from falling into fatal error that damns us to hell. You didn’t save yourself and you can’t keep yourself, but God saved you and He can keep you.
The word “faultless” (Gk. amomous) is a word that is used in sacrificial contexts. In fact, it’s the same word that describes Jesus in 1 Peter 1:19 as “a lamb without blemish.” We will be as faultless as Christ Himself when we enter into His presence. What a great promise!
When we realize that the Lord will keep us from falling and present us to God as faultless, we should want to join Him in praising God the Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord. God deserves praise. All glory is His; that is the sum of all of His attributes. All majesty is His; that speaks of His greatness, splendor, and dignity. All dominion is His; that speaks of His right to rule over the world. And all power is His; that designates His authority to rule and His ability to do anything. We should praise God for everything!
Items for Discussion
- Why do people give praise?
- Why do we need praise?
- What are the special things that a brother would know about Jesus?
- Can our relationship with God and Jesus exist without praise? Put another way, what will praise do to our relationship with God and Jesus?
- When you think about the idea that we are created in God’s image, what does that conjure up in your mind with respect to thoughts?
- In what condition will we be presented to God, according to Jude 24? As a result, what should be our attitude?
- Knowing that we will be righteous and joyful when we stand in God’s presence, what should be our response now?
- What is the proper balance between praise and reflection in our church so that we honor our God as Jude proclaims we should and we internalize our God so we change to be more Christ-like?