I think there is a natural fascination about the final words people speak just before dying. For example, consider the thoughts of the world leader, Winston Churchill. Reportedly, his last words were, “I’m bored with it all.”
Most of us have the final words of that 21-year-old patriot, Nathan Hale, memorized: “I regret that I have but one life to give to my country.” But did you know that as the Beatle, George Harrison was dying, he had a message for us all? According to his wife and son, Harrison used his last breath to instruct us all to ”love one another.”
Last things spoken seem to have a special importance. And I believe that is true in the scriptures as well. As each New Testament writer finishes his letter, his last few thoughts seem to carry some extra significance. So much so, that we give those thoughts a special title. We call them the benediction.
The term “benediction” comes from two Latin words that mean to “speak well.” It is the idea of giving a short blessing to its hearers. A benediction focuses the spot light on some very important words.
There is an especially important benediction at the end of Jude’s short letter. He is likely the half-brother of Jesus, and therefore had a unique viewpoint from which to share his thoughts. He grew up with the Savior. He knew Him personally. And he loved Him as His Lord.
As he finished his brief (just 25 verses) epistle, Jude directs our attention “center stage.” He wants to make sure he leaves his readers with their focus squarely on “the only God our Savior…”
His benediction reminds us that Jesus is the only one who “is able to keep (us) from stumbling and to present (us) before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy.”
With those thoughts in mind, I have a suggestion. This week, let’s all take a few minutes and read just the last verse or two of each New Testament epistle. Let’s think about the parting focus for each writer and consider which benediction speaks loudest to our heart. And then, let’s take a few minutes and commit that verse or two to memory.
Jude’s last recorded words REALLY matter! Let’s make sure Christ is acknowledged as Lord and given all GLORY, MAJESTY, POWER AND AUTHORITY, now and forevermore. Amen.