‘Will the real false teachers please stand up?’ (Jude 12-17)

After urging his readers to be on the lookout for false teachers who had infiltrated their church and brought with them a false gospel and an empty way of life. In verses 12-17, Jude then sought to expose their character. To do this, Jude uses words that are ‘word pictures’ such as ‘trees without fruit’ and ‘wild waves of the sea’. There are five word pictures in all that lead us to see that the lives of these false teachers are characterised by selfishness, helplessness, fruitlessness, shamefulness and aimlessness. To add the severity of the picture, he gives his own warning as well as one from the non-biblical book of Enoch, that reminded his readers the need to be on guard. By telling us these things, Jude also reminds us that true teachers of theWord of God ought to be seen as those whose lives have the evidence and character of God’s grace.