12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
Jude continues his theme of defending the faith and warns us about godless people who have slipped in among believers who try to change the grace of God. Who are these people? V16 says they are grumblers, fault finders. They boast about themselves or build up others for their own advantage. Not only do they have nothing to give like a tree without fruit, they also look out for themselves, taking whatever they can for their own benefit.
Their behaviour is the complete opposite to the example that Jesus gave, who came not to be served, but humbled himself to serve us.
As I reflect on this, I am aware that my defenses should not be just to people like this, but also against these attitudes from creeping in to my spirit. If a person came to us who grumbled, they would be easily noticed, but an attitude is not so obvious. It can start small, seemingly harmless, but if unchecked it becomes a blemish.
Jude’s warning then becomes a reminder to check myself and my attitudes because of the harm it causes to me and those around me.
Father I thank you for your grace which is freely given to me. I pray that I don’t take it for granted so that I stay away from grumbling and find fault.
Written by Andrew Martin