The purpose of this letter was a response to and a call to the recipients of this letter to contend for the faith as false teachers had infiltrated this body of believers.
Jude introduces himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. The word δοῦλοσ (doulos) means a bond servant or a slave. A bond servant is one who gives himself up to another’s will, it is one who is devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests. Jude's interests, causes and services were to Jesus Christ. He was a bond man to His savior and master and he spent his life preaching and advancing the Kingdom of Christ.
Jude's letter is written to those who are called – κλητός (Kletos) - invited by God in the proclamation of the Gospel to obtain eternal salvation in the Kingdom of Christ. Those who are divinely selected or appointed. In other words this letter is written to Christians (so his words can apply to us). I believe we fall into the category of kletos, because God has divinely appointed us to be His people. God has called us to eternal salvation and with this comes a great responsibility to walk according to His ways and share His gospel message. Jude also says the called are also the “beloved in God”. avgaphto, - agapetos - To love dearly to be well pleased, esteemed dear. Not only are we divinely appointed Christians but we are also loved dearly by the Father. We are divinely called to be followers of Christ, dearly loved by the Father and “kept” in Jesus. The word “kept” – τηρέω (tereo) means to preserve, to guard, attend carefully. In Christ we are preserved and guarded. To those who are in Christ there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. We are kept secure by Him.
Jude concludes his greeting with "may mercy, peace and love be lavished on you."(NET)
- Mercy - ἔλεος (Eleos) – Good will, kindness. God has provided an offering to humanity salvation in Christ which is eternal life.
- Peace - εἰρήνη (Eirene – I-ray-nay) The tranquil state of a soul assured of it’s salvation through Christ thus fearing nothing from God and content with our earthly lot.
- Love – ἀγάπη (Agape) – brotherly love, good will, benevolence. It is the love that makes distinctions, choosing its objects freely. It is an active, not self seeking love.
This is a beautiful greeting. Jude is not only saying may you just know mercy, peace and love, he is saying, “may it be lavished on you” or multiplied and increased among you. It is constant, active and ever growing. May this be the kind of mercy, peace and love that we experience and show in our daily walks with Jesus.