Read: Jude 1:17-25
In Luke 15 the Pharisees criticize Jesus saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Jesus responds by telling three parables. In the first parable, a man loses a sheep. He searches until he finds it and says, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the second parable a woman loses a silver coin. She seeks “diligently” until she finds it, then calls her friends and neighbors and says, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” The third and most well known parable is of the lost son. When the lost son returns to his father, the father runs to him, embraces him, kisses him, and then throws him a celebration.
Jesus is consistent in his theme. When something of value is lost and then found, there is great joy and celebration. It is humbling to realize that we are like the sinners that the Pharisees criticized Jesus for receiving, and we are the lost sheep/coin/son. Jesus tells us with this parable, that we are valuable enough to Him, for Him to seek us, find us, and celebrate us.
So when we read in Jude that Jesus presents us “blameless before the presence of His (God’s) glory with great joy,” let us believe in the joy of Christ, and let that produce joy in our hearts. Let us believe that at best this world offers temporary and fleeting joys, but that we have hope of an eternal joy in Christ. As Jude 1:21 says, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, that leads to eternal life.”
Questions for reflection:
- This passage in Jude comes to an audience with a warning of a time where false teachers will infiltrate the church and cause division. From this passage, what are ways as a church and as individuals we can look to Christ during difficult times, while we wait on Jesus to fulfill His promise?
- What are things you look to for joy, that may be a “substitute” for true joy in Christ?
– Scott Graham