1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jud 1–2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Jude was the brother of James. But he was also the half-brother of Jesus, or first cousin dependent upon how you view it. As is noted in Matthew 13, “‘Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?'”
We know from the Gospels that Jesus’s brothers rejected him in life. The Gospel of Mark tells us, “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind.’” (Mark 3:21)
This is a brother of Jesus and a brother of James. He rejected Jesus in life. He said of Jesus, “He is out of his mind.” The Gospel record shows that at Jesus’s crucifixion that Jesus’s brothers were not here. Looking down from the cross, Jesus had to ask the Apostle John to take care of his mother.
Yet after Jesus’s death, Jude calls himself “a servant of Jesus Christ.” The brother of the Lord does not call himself a brother, but rather humbles him as a servant of the risen Lord. He does not count himself as equal to Christ.
Jesus’s brother was an eyewitness. He did not believe in life, but in death became convinced that Jesus had conquered death. There are times when we all doubt. Sometimes you might wonder “how can this be?” If you get to that point, don’t feel guilty. Just remember that Jesus’s brothers too rejected him and thought Jesus was out of his mind. But after Jesus’s death, his brothers were willing to lay down their lives to proclaim Jesus had conquered death. They did not feel the need to be equal to the Christ, but to be his servants.
Sometimes our doubts come from an unwillingness to do the simple act of putting Jesus first.