Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12

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Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

  “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

(ESV)


Hebrews 12 Commentary

by Hank Workman

The word therefore is an adverb used to introduce a new line of thought as a conclusion to something previously stated.  It is no surprise that after the challenging and exciting retelling of people of faith listed in chapter 11, chapter 12 opens with this word.  The challenge is clear, take what the forefathers of faith lived and apply it.  Therefore… do something!  Therefore… don’t give up!

The picture painted is a great cloud of witnesses, the champion of faithful people stand and cheer us on to overcome whatever present discouragement we may be facing or enduring.  Living by faith and not by sight, which they did over and over again, we are to full-out run the race God Himself has set before us.  In fact, the call is to lay aside anything that hinders so we can run.  But not only the hindrances, we must lay aside the sin that dogs our steps over and over again.  The reality is it’s not always the sins that must be laid aside, but also the things that are simply a distraction, the hindrances, the things that weigh us down.  What I’ve always found so fascinating to consider when reading these verses is sometimes the hindrances are simply good things as well.  They are things we get caught up in when in reality they are not the best things.

God calls us to run full steam ahead toward the goal of His calling.  Lay aside everything that is in the way of such a pedal to the medal sprint.

God has set before each of us a race.  We must run it with full effort and commitment.  We must finish what we’ve been called to do and started even.  What are the hindrances that currently are stopping your full-out run?  What are the sins that have nipped at your heels to the point of giving up that must be laid aside? There is a great cloud of witnesses watching our lives, waiting to see how we’re running and cheering us on toward the goal.  Run.  Run wildly with all your might!


Hebrews 12 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Dear Weary Christ-Follower,

Read Hebrews 12:3-17

Which is worse, the weight of sin or the discipline of Jesus? It’s an interesting question to ponder considering we often complain about our lot in life. The truth is, you can’t compare the two. Sin comes from our rebellion against God. It is fueled by Satan who sneaks around looking to draw us deeper into darkness. Discipline comes under God’s watchful eye and is guided by His steady hand.

With regard to Joseph, Job, and Peter, Satan was limited in his deception. God has the ultimate authority and the final say. He used every bit of pain, suffering, and failure to increase our peace and righteousness. The current struggle is only for the present time. It will not last forever. The point the author of Hebrews wants us to absorb is that we cannot place all our attention on the process of the struggle but on the results of such a struggle.

Consider that our response to suffering matters!

No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:11 HCSB

…to those who have been trained by it.

“Trained in the ancient Greek language is a word from the world of athletics; as an athlete is trained by some agony, so are we – as God’s “spiritual athletes.””

David Guzik

There are some who simply refuse to train. They will not endure the process, and therefore, will not reap the results in the end.

“God has a purpose for training you. Think of David after being attacked by a lion while he was just a boy tending the sheep. “Why did God allow such a terrible think to happen to me?” He might of thought. “I barely escaped!” But if only David could see ahead, he would see God had a giant named Goliath he was destined to face, and the battle with the lion prepared him ahead of time. God always has a purpose. We can trust Him.”

David Guzik
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