Science of the Saints, 19 June, The Holy Apostle Jude, Brother of the Lord

The Holy Apostle Jude, among the rank of the twelve disciples of Christ, is descended from the lineage of King David and Solomon, and was the son of Righteous Joseph the Affianced from his first wife.

The Holy Apostle John the Theologian writes in his Gospel: “For none of his brethren believe on Him.” (Jn. 7:5) Sainted Theophilact, Archbishop of Bulgaria, explains these words thus: at the beginning of the worldly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sons of Joseph, among whose number was Jude, did not believe in His Divine essence. The tradition relates that when Righteous Joseph the Affianced, having returned from Egypt, began to divide among his sons the worldly things belonging to him, he wanted to allot part also to Christ the Saviour, born miraculously and incorruptibly from the All Pure Virgin Mary. The brothers were opposed to this and only the eldest of them, James, accepted Christ Jesus in a joint ownership of his allotment, and for this he was termed Brother of the Lord. Later on Jude believed in Christ the Saviour as the awaited Messiah, and with all his heart he turned to Him and was chosen by Him into the number of the closest twelve disciples. But mindful of his sin, the Apostle Jude considered himself unworthy to be termed a brother with God and in his own catholic Epistle he calls himself merely the brother of James.

The Holy Apostle Jude also had other names: the Evangelist Matthew terms him “Levi, nicknamed Thaddeus.” (Mt. 10:3) The Holy Evangelist Mark also calls him Thaddeus (Mk. 3:18), and in the Acts of the Holy Apostles he is mentioned under the name Barsaba (Acts 15:22). This was customary at that time.

After the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Jude set off preaching the Gospel. He propagated the faith in Christ at first in Judea, Galilee, Samaria and Idumeia, and later in the lands of Arabia, Syria, and Mesopotamia, and finally he went to the city of Edessa. Here he finished that which was not completed by his predecessor, the disciple from the seventy, Thaddeus.

There is preserved an account that the Holy Apostle Jude went preaching to Persia and from there wrote in the Greek language his catholic Epistle, in the brief wording of which consisted much profound truth. It contained dogmatic teaching about the Holy Trinity, about the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, about the separation of Angels good and bad, and about the Dread Last Judgement. In its moral content the Apostle urges believers to guard themselves against fleshly impurity, to be diligent in their obligations in prayer, faith, and love, to convert the lost to the way of salvation, and to guard themselves from the teachings of heretics. The Apostle Jude taught that faith alone in Christ is not sufficient, good works also are necessary, the evidence to Christian teaching.

The Holy Apostle Jude died a martyr about the year 80 in Armenia in the city of Arata, where he was crucified on a cross and pierced by arrows.

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