Hey Jude! Don’t Be Afraid.

Aug 20, 2010 No Comments by


By Ron Ross, 20th August, 2010
Australia is heading for elections. America is busily speculating about their upcoming mid-term votes. We all hunger for an answer to the problems faced in a fallen world.
Consider the story of Jude, the half-brother of Jesus. I can’t say I have heard a great deal of preaching about Jude. His real name was Judas but English bible translators went with Jude, so readers would not confuse him with the negativity associated with Judas Iscariot.
In his short letter, Jude calls himself ‘a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.’ He was a son of Mary and Joseph.
He is mentioned in the gospels. “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” (Matthew 13:55)
It’s a human quirk that we can label people because their name is the same as someone of poor reputation. Not too many Jewish people are likely to name a son Adolph, for instance.
Jude, the brother of Jesus is a very different person than his maligned namesake. I see Jude as a very humble man. He did not introduce himself as the physical half-brother of Jesus but indeed he highlighted his role as servant.
Jude by-passed their physical identity, to major on their eternal spiritual relationship.
Jude does not even position himself as an apostle with his brother James. In Jude 17 he refers to ‘the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ’ without any claim to being one of them.
Most of us can identify with Jude the unbeliever. John 7: 5 tells us Jude did not believe in the Lordship of Jesus before the resurrection.
At the Cross
There is a poignant insight into the amazing experience of salvation discovered by the brothers of Jesus in Acts. Imagine being in that unique group. What mixed emotions would they feel as they observed the cruel death of their brother?
What conversations did they overhear as observers talked about the Lord and debated or even sneered at His messianic claims?
Were they despised by people who had known them during the heady days leading to the arrest and crucifixion? Maybe some were sympathetic with the brothers believing Jesus alone had gone ‘over-the-top’ with His claims.
But then came the resurrection and the brothers who had previously denied the Lordship of Jesus were hit by indisputable truth. They were spiritually, emotionally and enthusiastically swept into the believers’ world.
Picture this powerful response. “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” (Acts 1:14)
The brothers in prayer is worth considering. They could have fellowshipped with the Lord face to face for all those years they lived together. Now they withdrew with the other believers to pray ‘continually’ in a commitment Luke, the author of Acts, said was devoted.
Physically they were half-brothers, born of the same mother. Spiritually they were one, through the Father.
I recall those days when I was just an observer. I looked on my mother’s faith with respect but I was so into the physical world I chose to be distracted from the reality she had found.
Jude believed so passionately and intensely he became a traveling evangelist. His wife traveled with him. The original evangelists believed strongly in traveling together, husbands and wives. “Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?” (1 Cor. 9: 5)
It struck me that without knowing what was happening I have followed in the footsteps of Jude. I was soundly saved when the reality of the resurrection broke through my worldly unbelief.
My wife and I have traveled the world since. At any and every opportunity we have proclaimed the Lord and the joy of our salvation.
It seems to me Jude found true purpose and identity when he discovered the Truth about Jesus. In my life, I can say, ‘amen’ to that.
I wonder what the world is looking for today that is nor already offered by the King so many refuse to recognize.
As we consider elections and a better world, we all need to focus more often on the dynamic described in Acts 1:14.

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About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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