Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Book of Jude, verse 16

(New American Standard Bible)

 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; 
they speak arrogantly, flattering people 
for the sake of gaining an advantage.

(New Living Translation)
These people are grumblers and complainers,
living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.

Grumblers, fault-finders, arrogant braggarts...sounds like people we've all crossed paths with in our lives. Why is Jude making a point to be aware of these types of people in the Church? Let's dive into verse 16 and get to the root of the words. Here's what stood out to me:

You may want to dig in and draw your own conclusions 
by reading some commentaries at or

  • Grumblers - ογγυστής gongystḗs is Greek for one who discontentedly complains. Jude implies it is those who grumble against God. It is akin to the word for murmuring, and it reminds me of teenagers who complain under their breath as they walk away from you. 
  • finding fault - μεμψίμοιρος mempsímoiros  is the word Jude uses to describe these people because they are never happy with what they have. The translation is complaining of one's lot, querulous, or discontented.  In today's language, you and I would call these people 'whiners.'
  • following lusts - Though this phrase is self-explanatory, when we dig into the root of the root words, we find the word 'lusts' is connected to a primary verb, θύω thýō, which means by extension, to immolate (slaughter for any purpose).  When we choose the path of our desires, we are headed down the road of destruction. 
  • for the sake of gaining an advantage - ὠφέλεια ōphéleia is the Greek word for usefulness or profit. Jude used this word to mean "gaining booty."  

Matthew Henry's commentary states:

A murmuring complaining temper, indulged and expressed, lays men under a very bad character; such are very weak at least, and for the most part very wicked. They murmur against God and his providence, against men and their conduct; they are angry at every thing that happens, and never pleased with their own state and condition in the world, as not thinking it good enough for them. Such walk after their own lusts;their will, their appetite, their fancy, are their only rule and law. Note, Those who please their sinful appetites are most prone to yield to their ungovernable passions.

Jude is warning us to be aware of these types, because they are toxic. You know the phrase misery loves company? When we are around complainers, who find fault with everything within the Church, we typically make a choice:  Agree and whine with them, or Run as fast as we can in the opposite direction. 

If we choose the former, we allow ourselves to be poisoned. We might begin twisting the 'Why Me?' question around in our head. We might start to look for the bad in people, and think we've been treated poorly within the Church. We might wrongfully follow our desires to find how we can gain from the Church instead of how we can help the Church point others to Christ. Run the other way. Look for the good. Follow His Path.

Keep your eyes open and hearts alert, friends.

Choose to Shine His Light today.

What stood out most to you in this verse?