November 11 2021
Today, Thursday November 11
Beware of False Shepherds
Jude 1:12-13 “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”
Today is Veteran’s Day! I am so thankful for the men and women who have served in our nation’s military to protect us and our country. These dear veterans were willing to fight and die to give us the freedoms that we enjoy in this great country. Be sure and take the time to honor them in some way today and definitely tell as many as you can how thankful you are for their service to our country!
How interesting that in the verses before us today we see a sharp contrast between those who are willing to serve, sacrifice and die for others and the false shepherds, the apostate teachers who are interested in only serving themselves.
Jude is exposing and describing the apostates, the false teachers who have “crept into” the fellowship of believers of his day (v. 4). He first noted that it was obvious that they rejected divine authority and how God’s judgment was sure to come on them (Vs. 5-11). Now Jude tells us how they resort to deliberate hypocrisy (Vs. 12-13 & 16). Jude, in verses twelve and thirteen, presents six vivid pictures of these false shepherds.
They are not only “filthy spots or blemishes” (v. 12a), they are “serving only themselves” (v. 12b), which can be translated “shepherds feeding themselves”. They are selfish shepherds. The word translated "feeding" means "shepherding." Instead of shepherding the flock and caring for the needs of the people, these apostates only take care of themselves. Jude may have had in mind Isaiah 56:10-12 and Ezekiel 34, where the prophets condemned the political and spiritual leaders of the nation ("shepherds") for exploiting the people and caring only for themselves.
It is a serious thing to be a shepherd over God's flock. Our example must be Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep (John 10). False shepherds use and abuse people in order to get what they want, and yet all the while, the people love it! Paul marveled at this when he wrote 2 Corinthians 11:20—"You don't mind, do you, if a man takes away your liberty, spends your money, takes advantage of you, puts on airs, or even smacks your face?"
These selfish shepherds do all of this "without fear." They are an arrogant lot! This is the difference between a true shepherd and a hireling: the true shepherd cares for the sheep, while the hireling cares only for himself. "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" (Ezek. 34:2) But these apostates ought to be afraid, for their judgment is coming.
Today would also be a great day to be thankful for all those who have served in the Lord’s great army as pastors, Sunday school teachers, nursery workers, elders, deacons, and the list could go on and on! These dear people have also sacrificed their lives and have given their time and resources for the sake of the Gospel. For every false shepherd there are hundreds of true, godly men and women who love the flock of God as they lead, protect, feed and teach the Word of God!
Take time to also thank a veteran in the Lord’s army for their service in the “Kingdom”.