1 “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:”
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ,
Jude was a common name among Jewish people. Jude is a shortened form of “Judas.” Judas Iscariot spoiled that name.
and brother of James,
Jude sets forth his vertical relationship to Jesus Christ, and then his horizontal relationship to his physical brother James. Jude did not mention his physical relationship with Jesus as his half-brother. He did not say, “I grew up with Jesus; I played in the same sandbox with him.”
Jude was the brother of both James and Jesus. Neither brother believed Jesus was the Messiah until after the resurrection (Jn 7:5). Later, James became the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
A slave always has a Master.
Our horizontal relationships are not nearly as important as our vertical relationship. In eternal value, our relationships on earth are not nearly as important as our vertical relationship to Jesus.
None of us likes the term “slave,” but Jesus expects our undivided loyalty. Everyone is a slave of something–either our sin or our Savior. Are we willing to waive our rights? Would we qualify as a slave of Jesus? This is blessed servitude. We are a slave when we relinquish all claims on self. All of us are slaves to someone or something. If Jesus is not our master, then sin is (Jn 8:34; Ro 6:20). We have a Savior, but do we have a Lord? Do we lay our lives at His feet? Does He come before our spouse, children, money, real estate, everything? Have we given Him our all?