Here we have observable, the person saluting, the persons saluted, and the salutation itself.
Observe, 1. The person saluting described three ways.
1. By his name, Jude, called Thaddeus and Lebbens, to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. Behold, an holy apostle, and a perfidious traitor, bearing the same name; Judas an apostle, and Judas an apostate: it is not an holy name, but an holy nature, that commends us unto God.
2. By his office, a servant of Jesus Christ; he might have styled himself a near kinsman of Jesus Christ, or a brother of the Lord; but he mentions not his natural, but his spiritual relation to Christ: alliance in faith, or a spiritual relation to Christ, is much dearer and nearer than alliance in flesh: there is a peculiar honour and excellency in the title of Christ's servant, above that of Christ's kinsman.
3. By his kindred and alliance, brother of James; this is added to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot: it is the duty of the servants, but especially the ministers, of Christ, to prevent all scandalous exceptions against their persons, and to be of untainted reputations: Jude, the servant of Christ, and brother of James.
Observe, 2. The persons saluted: these also are three ways described.
1. They are sanctified by God the father; The apostle judges of them by their profession, and by their obligation; they had, by assuming the Christian name, obliged themselves to be saints or holy persons; and by their profession did own and declare themselves so to be; and no doubt many of them were inwardly sanctified, as well as outwardly holy.
2. They are preserved in Christ Jesus; that is, in the faith of Christ Jesus, when many for fear of persecution have apostatized from it: he that will approve himself a true Christian, just show himself a steadfast Christian; instability is an argument of insincerity.
Again, preserved in Christ Jesus, that is, preserved in a state of grace and holiness, by Christ Jesus, by the merit of his death and passion, by the prevalency of his intercession, and by the Holy Spirit's efficacy and operation.
3. They are called, all of them externally, by the ministry of the word; internally, many of them, by the effectual operation of the Spirit, renewing the nature, and reforming the life; these are the persons saluted, them that are sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Christ Jesus, and called.
Observe, 3. The salutation itself, Mercy, peace, and love multiplied unto you; mercy from God, the Father of mercies; peace from Jesus Christ, who is our peace; and love from the Holy Ghost, by whom it is shed abroad in our hearts: and his praying that these graces may not be barely given and granted, but be multiplied and increased, intimates to us our duty, which is, not barely to seek grace at the hands of God, but the multiplication and augumentation of it; to labour after grace in growth, as well as grace in truth. Mercy, peace, and love, be multiplied; thankful we may and ought to be for the least measures of good received, but not satisfied with the greatest measures, short of our heavenly perfection; he was never truly good that does not desire daily to grow better.