Sunday, August 28, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Stand Firm in the Faith

I've got one brother.

I love him dearly.

We were born only three years apart, and growing up we were fast friends. I can remember all the hours we spent together – playing army or detective or shipmates. Or the times we assembled car and plane models – (man, we got loopy on that stupid old glue!) Or when we went on family adventures.

My brother was a lot of fun.

Sure, he teased me unmercifully (what are brothers for?) – but he was always someone very special to me.

Now, what if he had come to me one day and announced that he was the Son of God?

I'm thinking I would have quickly told my parents, whom I'm sure would have gotten him some immediate psychological help…

So, I wonder what it was like for Jude – one of Mary and Joseph's sons, Jesus' half-brother.

Did he think his brother was crazy?

"Who does Jesus think he is?? I mean, evidently he thinks he's the Messiah – but I've never heard of anything so preposterous! Son of God indeed! He's just a poor carpenter's son like all the rest of us. What has gotten into him? I sure hope insanity isn't hereditary."

The Bible makes it clear that Jude and the other brothers of Jesus did not follow Him during His earthly ministry. ("For even his brothers didn’t believe in him." – John 7:5) And I think that makes perfect sense. Would you believe one of your siblings if they came up with this impossible claim?

But, something happened to dramatically change that perspective.

The Resurrection.

One of the reasons that I completely believe in the resurrection of Christ, besides the fact that I completely believe the Word of God, is this transformation of His brothers. Nothing in life could have altered their view of Jesus unless it was a life-altering event.

And an empty tomb is the evidence of that life-changing miracle.

So, when Jude, now a strong believer in Jesus CHRIST (the anointed Messiah, the true Son of God), has something to say – I want to pay close attention.

The book of Jude speaks out against an outbreak of false teaching. In the beginning of the book, he explains the situation that prompted his letter – (incidentally, it's a different letter than he had planned to write). I find it interesting that Jude, who at one time most likely thought his brother was a false teacher, now finds it extremely urgent to fight against those who do not believe the Truththe truth that God had revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ.

What does Jude tell us about false teachers?

1. They are ungodly.
2. They will worm their way into our churches.
3. They will say that God's grace allows us to live immoral lives.
4. They will claim their own authority.
5. They will defy other forms of authority.
6. They will scoff at supernatural beings.
7. They will do what their natural instincts tell them.
8. They will deceive people for money.
9. They will flatter others to get what they want.
10. They will brag loudly about themselves.
11. They will create divisions.
12. They are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck believers.
13. They are selfish, shameful people who are doomed to destruction.
14. They do not have God's Spirit in them.


Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is Jude's call to remain faithful:

"But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God's love." (Jude 1:20-21)

Yes, we are called to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, but we must uphold each other while we do it. We must be careful not to fall into the quicksand of compromise. We must be sure that our own footing is safe and secure.

We must remain rooted and grounded in the Lord whom we trust.

Jude knew that his brother, Jesus, was the Way, the Truth, and the Life – that's why I listen to his words of encouragement…

Remain firm in your faith.
Trust in God's promises for your future.
Don't be tempted to give in to sin.
Don't be afraid or give up in despair.
God will keep you from falling.

"All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen." (Verses 24-25)

Hey, Jude – thanks for the great word today!

How do you remain firm in your faith – and how do you fight against false teaching?

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. Very interesting post, I love how you break it down.. They way you break everything down makes it so much easier to understand. Now.. How do I fight against false teaching? By staying in God's word and within His presence. If we don't know His word and feed ourselves then its easier for us to fall. Easier for the enemy to swoop in and offer us a detour.

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. I'm amazed that I've lived all these years and have never given much thought to how his earthly brothers viewed Him. Thank you for this thought provoking post.

  3. Sharon - this is great. Like Charlotte, I've never thought of it in this way - just knowing that Jesus's brothers didn't believe in Him before the resurrection.

    It was life transforming because James became a leader in the early church as we learn in the book of Acts.

    Great post!

  4. Also, I know what I would think if my only brother said he was the Son of God. I would be seeking some serious psychological help for him.

  5. That is sure something to think about Sharon - I bet they were jealous and thought He was crazy!

  6. Oh Sharon, this is wonderful!

    I'm keeping comments short and sweet (kind of like you) because of the pain, but I really loved this.

    Sir Lotsa Hair just finished an indepth teaching of Jude with his class. That and THIS make me want to do one too.

    Please keep praying for me.

  7. Misty - Thanks. I love how you said that the enemy likes to offer detours. Such an apt metaphor for how he diverts us from the correct path. He is sneaky - perhaps never more so than when he takes the Truth and twists it just a little bit.

    Charlotte - Thank you. Yes, it was also very revealing to me when I first began considering the way that Jesus' earthly family viewed Him both before and after the resurrection. Only something completely undeniable (that empty tomb) could have changed their opinion of Him. And of course, it did just that!

    Joan - Yes, and I never realized until well into my adult life that the book of James in the Bible was not written by the apostle James - it was written by one of Jesus' other brothers. He did become a leader in the church in Jerusalem. The historian Josephus points out that James was eventually stoned to death. Only a risen Christ could inspire men to die for their faith.

    Sandie - I'm sure there was some discussion around the table about their older brother whom they must have thought wasn't in his "right mind." I'm sure they were greatly saddened by His crucifixion. But, can you imagine their awe at His resurrection? What an overpowering moment, and it changed their lives forever. Me, too.

    Debbie - Continuing to pray all the time for a healing to happen for you. Yes, Jude packs a great punch in a short amount of time. And, like I said, I love to hear what he has to say about a brother who became his Lord and Savior. I'm sure that his devotion to Truth came about because of his previous aversion to it. May we learn to live for the Truth of who Jesus is...



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)