Main point summary
Beware the ungodly among you who indulge the flesh and reject God's authority. Woe to them, for they have made certain their own judgment.
Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams,
These people, similar to those of Sodom and Gomorrah, by relying on insubstantial things like dreams,
defile the flesh,
indulge their fleshly desires,
reject God's rightful authority,
and t blaspheme the glorious ones.
and (assuming their own authority,) blaspheme beings higher than themselves.
But when u the archangel v Michael,
But even when one of the highest angels, Michael,
contending with the devil,
contending with the devil himself,
was disputing w about the body of Moses,
he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment,
x “The Lord rebuke you.”
y But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand,
and they are destroyed
by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.
Woe to them!
For they walked in z the way of Cain
and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain a to Balaam’s error
and b perished in Korah’s rebellion.
These are hidden reefs 1 c at your love feasts,
as they feast with you without fear,
d shepherds feeding themselves;
e waterless clouds, f swept along by winds;
fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, g uprooted;
h wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of i their own shame;
j wandering stars, k for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
It was also about these that Enoch, l the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying,
m “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,
n to execute judgment on all
and to convict all the ungodly
of all their deeds of ungodliness
that they have o committed in such an ungodly way,
and of all p the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
These are grumblers, malcontents,
q following their own sinful desires;
r they are loud-mouthed boasters,
s showing favoritism to gain advantage.
Observations/Meditations (Jude 8-16): Main Point : Like those of Sodom and Gomorrah, the ungodly among us indulge their flesh and reject God's authority, blaspheming him. Woe to them! For they are spiritually worthless and will be judged. These verses follow on the heels of v.7, which talks of the sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah. V.8 beginning with "Yet in like manner..." points back to that verse, giving a comparison between the sins of those in Sodom and Gomorrah and the sins of those Jude is addressing (v.8 - "defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones"). V.9 gives a distinction about the issue of blasphemy. Michael, an archangel (one of the highest and most powerful of all created beings!), did not even presume to have any authority of himself. Rather, even when speaking to Satan himself (the clearest enemy), did not blaspheme by rebuking Satan on his own authority. Rather, he said, "The Lord rebuke you." Pronouncing judgments on others based on my own presumed authority is blasphemous. It's a rejection of God's authority. All judgment begins and ends with the Word of God. The next several sections of verses give various looks at these ungodly people. Notice the similarity in the way these verses are introduced: "These are..." (v.12); "It was also about these..." (v.14); "These are..." (v.16). I've listed as a series telling more about "these people." Vv.12-13 give 6 pictures which show the deceptiveness and spiritual worthlessness of these people: (1) hidden reefs, (2) shepherds feeding themselves, (3) waterless clouds, (4) fruitless trees, (5) wild waves, (6) wandering stars. Vv.14-15 quote Enoch who pronounces judgment on these kind of ungodly people. Notice the emphasis: "the Lord comes...to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way." Our actions demonstrate who we are. The ungodly are those who do deeds of ungodliness in an ungodly way. V.16 gives two parallel statements about the character of these ungodly people: (1) they are grumblers/malcontents and (2) they are loud-mouthed boasters. These are almost a surprise at the end of this! We'd expect it to say: these are murderers and adulterers. The "big sins." But it says that people like this are grumblers, malcontents, and loud-mouthed boasters! Think about it. What are we saying when we grumble? We know better than God. What is a lack of contentment? It's trusting myself more than God. And what am I saying when I boast loudly? I'm trying to put myself in the place of God or give myself the glory that God deserves. Application/Prayer So, contending for the faith means (1) looking out for people like this in the church and (2) guarding my heart from these kinds of misplaced affections that would draw me away from Christ. This passage starts off with "in like manner..." And while at first glance this passage may seem to have nothing to do with "people like me," it ends further describing that like manner: grumblers, malcontents, and loud-mouthed boasters. Here's an important point for my own heart. Often the path that turns away from God begins with these kinds of "small" things: grumbling, discontentment, or self-exaltation. I grumble because I don't trust God. Then I begin to dislike God because he's not doing what I think he should be doing. My heart turns from him because I think I'd be a better God for myself. And then I begin to believe that lie: I'm a better god than God. The further I entrench myself in that lie, the further I move from God. And the more I begin to indulge myself in everything my flesh wants to do. And I end up in Sodom. The same thing happens with discontent. And the same thing can happen with self-exaltation. I begin to live for the glory that only belongs to God. This can even happen in ministering to others. I begin to live out my Christianity to be seen by others. I love it when I'm getting that positive feedback. But when I don't get the positive feedback, I get really discouraged. Why? Because I'm doing this for me. If I was doing it out of love for God, I wouldn't be focused on the positive feedback. But when I do it for my own self-exaltation, the lack of positive feedback leads me discouraged and depressed. And likely angry at God for the ministry he's given me. I think things like, "Is this what you led me here for? To be discouraged and rejected? How could you treat me like this? I don't deserve this." And I begin to hate the ministry and the God of the ministry. My loud-mouthed boasting has led me to hate the God that I say I serve. And I slowly move further and further away from the God that I've come to view so wrongly.
I. Opening 1-2 A. Author 1a B. Recipients 1b C. Benediction 2 II. Main Body 3-23 A. Reason for Writing: Contend for the Faith 3-4 B. God Has Punished the Faithless in the Past 5-7 C. Guard Yourselves Against the Faithless Among You 8-13 D. God Will Judge the Faithless and Ungodly, As Promised 14-16 E. Some Will Try to Draw You Into Faithlessness 17-19 F. Keep Yourselves in the Love of God 20-23 1. By Encouragement/Exhortation 20a 2. By Prayer 20b III. Closing: Doxology 24-25