Jude, the brother of James, was the half-brother of Jesus. “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas?” Matthew 13:55. Here Jude is mentioned fourth, so he could be the youngest of Mary’s sons. “‘Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?’ So they were offended at Him.” Mark 6:3. Here Jude is mentioned third, so certainly one of the youngest brothers. Judas, or Jude was a common name, but because of the treachery of Judas the apostle, most people who had the same name, quickly changed it to the abbreviation Jude.
A Stern Warning
This is a general Epistle written before AD 67. It is a letter of warning, very similar to 2 Peter, and written about the same time. Jude is a challenge to action during a time of apostasy. Jude is a strong and sharp letter, a stern rebuke.
The message is to stand firm, to be grounded and rooted in the Faith, to build up your faith, to grow in your faith, to contend for the Faith, to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Be faithful in fighting for the Faith. Expect opposition. Resist false teachers. Oppose apostasy. Refuse to compromise to the spirit of godlessness in the world. Apathy assists apostasy. Care enough to confront. Truth conquers. Holiness matters. Jude describes false teachers and he calls us to defend the Gospel. Here is an anatomy of apostasy and the antidote to apostasy. Solus Christus! Sola Gratia! Sola Scriptura!