And have mercy on some who are wavering; save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies. Jude 22–23
Jude appears to be an angry little letter that breathes threats and condemnation for people who teach unrighteousness and live ungodly lives. For many of us these charges unsettle us, because even as people of faith, we recognize that we often fail to teach what is right, and we make choices in our living that are less than holy. Oftentimes we do this without even realizing it. We are uncertain of our own righteousness, and we are rather skeptical of others who proclaim their own correctness.
But there is a gracious note in this letter that should not be overlooked. Even the unrighteous are offered mercy. We can hate sinful acts, but we must be gracious to all people no matter their choices in life. God desires to save all of us, not just a select few. Jude lets us know that there will be judgment, but there is also mercy. And according to the letter of James, mercy always triumphs over judgment—praise God!
Are you a merciful person?
Lord, talk of Your wrath and judgment are terrifying. Who could stand in Your presence? Who would not wither under Your critique? Who could endure Your examination? We dare to believe that person to be none other than Jesus. And Jesus has proclaimed that judgment is stayed by mercy. I pray with my whole heart for that to be true. The whole world is in need of Your grace…so please have mercy on us all. In Jesus’ name, I hope and pray. AMEN.