Jude is not the first letter that we read for our personal or corporate encouragement as it is a letter that is a challenge to understand. It is also a letter that deals a lot with judgment. Jude desires to write to the church about the common faith once for all delivered, but instead writes about the pressing matter concerning the false teachers. So, how can this letter go beyond its immediate context? What encouragement can we glean from this letter? Why press forward in this life?
The disciples should understand that Christ predicts his suffering, dying, and being raised up to life. When Christ talked about this part of his ministry Christ really means that he is sent to suffer, die, and to be raised up to life. The disciples and the women who were around Jesus missed this central truth. How does Christ react after his resurrection? How does Christ’s reaction put our worship into perspective and show our parting from worship to be so consoling?
The book of Revelation concludes with a blessing, but there is a warning in the midst of the benediction. Why would John give us a warning in the midst of the blessing? Does this imply that we cannot freely draw near to the Lord?
Job heard of the Lord, but now he sees the Lord. How is this different and what is significant about this transition?
Jacob is on his deathbed and now has the opportunity to prophetically speak about the future of his 12 sons. Will he abuse his prophetic gift and try to put his favored son ahead of the other sons? Or has this man really learned from this wrestling match that the wisdom of God is manifested through weakness? How does the Lord show the irony off the Messianic line by coming through a very unlikely son? Why is this son such an unlikely candidate to bring forth the messiah?
Jacob is an elderly man on his death bed. His favored son Joseph makes it easy for Jacob to bless his grand children by arranging them in their proper place. Joseph knows that the older is to receive the greater blessing and the younger is to receive the inferior blessing. Jacob, a supplanter schemer, places his right hand on the younger and his left on the older. Why does this offend Joseph? What does this communicate about Jacob’s heart condition?
The Lord has bound himself to work in the context and the confines of the covenantal line. This means that the promise made to Abraham must have a successor to receive that promise. Isaac is getting old, he has two children, but the Lord has chosen one child to be the heir of the promise. Isaac does not want to confer the blessing to the younger, but to the older. Is the Lord still able to establish His Sabbath people?