Jude: Pt 3, A Call

by Steve Reynolds  /  Jude 17-23  /  September 11, 2016

What do you do when you face an opponent stronger than you? That was my question as a 5th grade football player. I was 75lbs, and I played on the offensive line. In the scrimmage of the year, I played against a guy twice my size. I played well, and I gained some confidence. However, between that scrimmage and the first time we played in the regular season, something had happened: he learned how to play football. At halftime, I was taken out after being dominated. His team had made adjustments. This week, I watched my beloved Ole Miss Rebels play the first game of their year: the first half, we dominated (28-13), but something happened: the other team made adjustments while we were happy with a good first half. And we lost. How do you react to a strong opponent? Do you adjust? Or do you lie down? This was the question facing the church Jude wrote to: we have learned so far that they faced a difficult opponent and that the intruders would be, one day, punished. But what does the church do in the meantime? For this reason, Jude writes v17-23 to tell the church how to respond in both action and mercy. And what I pray we will learn from this text today is that the church is called to an active & merciful faith in the face of intruders.