Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book of Jude, verse 23

(New American Standard Bible)

save others, snatching them out of the fire; 
and on some have mercy with fear,
hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

(New Living Translation)
Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment.
Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution,
hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

Jude directs us in how we are to approach those who apostatize...with extreme caution. Here are a couple of things that stand out to me. 

To dig in and draw your own conclusions
read some commentaries at or
  • save others, snatching them out of the fire, have mercy with fear - Jude uses vivid imagery in his directions for us. I found an interesting commentary from Jameison, Fausset, & Brown that sums up these two phrases well:
The oldest manuscripts do not read "with fear" in this position: but after "snatching them out of the fire" they add the following words, forming a THIRD class, "and others compassionate with (IN) fear." ...Three kinds of patients require three kinds of medical treatment. The three classes are: (1) those who contend with you, whom you should convict; (2) those who are as brands already in the fire, of which hell-fire is the consummation: these you should try to save by snatching them out; (3) those who are objects of compassion, whom accordingly you should compassionate (and help if occasion should offer), but at the same time not let pity degenerate into connivance at their error.
Your compassion is to be accompanied "with fear" of being at all defiled by them.
  • hating even the garment polluted by the flesh - The word μισέω miséō is Greek for to detest. The garment to which Jude was referring, χιτών chitṓn, is an undergarment, usually worn next to the skin. Polluted, or σπιλόω spilóō, is the Greek word which translates to stain or soil, defile. σάρξ sárx is used by Jude to help us understand the sensuous nature of man. When we put all of these words together in a phrase, we understand Jude is telling us to keep away from anything that appears evil. When we come into contact with sin, it sullies our spirit, contaminating our relationship with God.

We are called to aid our stumbling brothers and sisters in Christ, though we must do so with reverential fear of our Lord. We guide them back to Him with compassion, grabbing them from the snares of the enemy. We do this with great love, while being mindful of His Truth, so as to not get ourselves caught up in sin. 

Love the person. Hate the sin.

What stood out most to you in this verse?