Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ
The author of this epistle is the same who is elsewhere called Judas, ( Luke 6:16 ) ( John 14:22 ) , who was one of the twelve apostles of Christ, whose name was also Lebbaeus, and whose surname was Thaddaeus, ( Matthew 10:3 ) , the name is the same with Judah, ( Genesis 29:35 ) ( 49:8 ) , which comes from a word that signifies "to praise" or "confess"; and in the Rabbinical dialect is called (adwy) , "Juda" F5, as here. He styles himself "the servant of Jesus Christ"; (See Gill on Romans 1:1); though this is a title common to all believers, yet here, and in some other places, it is peculiar to an apostle, or minister of the Gospel; and therefore is used not merely in humility, and to acknowledge obedience to Christ, but as a title of dignity and honour: and the apostle goes on to describe himself by his natural relation,
and brother of James;
not the son of Zebedee, but of Alphaeus, ( Matthew 10:2 Matthew 10:3 ) ; and this he mentions partly to distinguish himself from others of that name, as Judas Iscariot, and Judas called Barsabas; and partly for the sake of honour and credit, James being a very great man, a man of great note and esteem, and who seemed to be a pillar in the church, and was called the brother of our Lord, ( Galatians 2:9 ) ( 1:19 ) ; an account of the persons to whom this epistle is inscribed next follows,
to them that are sanctified by God the Father;
which is to be understood not of internal sanctification, which is usually ascribed to the Spirit of God, but of the act of eternal election, which is peculiar to God the Father; in which sense Christ is said to be sanctified by the Father, and men ordained and appointed to an office, and vessels are set apart the owner's use; ( John 10:36 ) ( Jeremiah 1:5 ) ( 2 Timothy 2:21 ) ; the language is taken from the ceremonial law, by which persons and things were sanctified, or set apart for sacred use and service; see ( Exodus 13:2 Exodus 13:12 ) ( Leviticus 27:14 Leviticus 27:16 ) ; and so the elect of God are by God the Father sanctified and set apart in the act of election, which is expressed by this word; partly because of its separating nature, men being by it separated from the rest of the world, to the use and service of God, and for his glory, so that they are a distinct and peculiar people; and partly because such are chosen through sanctification of the Spirit, and unto holiness both in this world and that which is to come; so that the doctrine of election is no licentious doctrine; for though holiness is not the cause of it, yet is a means fixed in it, and is certain by it, and an evidence of it; the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, read, "to them that are loved by God the Father": election is the fruit and effect of love; those that are sanctified or set apart by the Father in election, are loved by him. The Ethiopic version renders it quite otherwise, "to them that love God the Father"; which flows from the Father's love to them:
and preserved in Jesus Christ;
those who are sanctified, or set apart by God the Father in election, are in Christ, for they are chosen in him; they have a place in his heart, and they are put into his hands, and are in him, and united to him as members to an head, and were represented by him in the covenant of grace; and being in him, they are preserved by him, and that before they are called, as well as after; wherefore this character is put before that of being called, though the Syriac version puts that in the first place: there is a secret preservation of them in Christ before calling, from condemnation and the second death; they were not preserved from falling in Adam, with the rest of mankind, nor from the corruption of human nature, nor from actual sins and transgressions; yet, notwithstanding these, were so preserved that the law could not execute the sentence of condemnation on them, nor sin damn them, nor Satan, who led them captive, hale them to prison; and after calling, they are preserved not from indwelling sin, nor from the temptations of Satan, nor from doubts and fears and unbelief, nor from slips and falls into sin; but from the tyranny and dominion of sin, from being devoured by Satan, and from a total and final falling away; they are preserved in the love of God, and of Christ; in the covenant of grace; in a state of justification and adoption; and in the paths of truth, faith, and holiness; and are preserved safe to the heavenly kingdom and glory: their other character follows,
not merely externally by the ministry of the word, but internally by the Spirit and grace of God; so that this is to be understood of a special and effectual call, whereby souls are called out of darkness into light, and from bondage to liberty; and from a dependence on themselves to the grace and righteousness of Christ; and from society with the men of the world to fellowship with him; and to eternal glory, so as to have faith and hope concerning it.
F5 Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 50. 2.