Hebrews 12:1, 2 - Looking Unto Jesus!
Hebrews 12:1, 2 - Looking Unto Jesus!
Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NKJV) Therefore we also, since we are
surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author
and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him
endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right
hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1, 2 (TNIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by
such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that
hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with
perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the
pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured
the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the
throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NCV) We have around us many people whose lives
tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us
and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that
would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. 2 Let
us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it
perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if
it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now
he is sitting at the right side of God's throne.
Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NLT) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such
a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off
every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily
trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before
us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who
initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he
endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place
of honor beside God's throne.
Run With Perseverance; The Christian life is pictured as a
long-distance race rather than a short sprint. [NIV SB]
Fix Our Eyes On Jesus; Just as a runner concentrates on the
finish line, we should concentrate on Jesus, the goal and objective of
our faith. [NIV SB]
Perfecter Of Our Faith; Our faith, which has its beginning in
Jesus, is also completed in him; he is both the start and the end of
the race. He is also the supreme witness who has already run the
race and overcome. [NIV SB]
Faith in Action: Hebrews 11:1 - 12:3.
The people listed in chapter 11 are the "cloud" that witnesses
to us, "God can be trusted! Put your faith in His Word and keep
running the race!" When you read the Old Testament, your faith should
grow, for the account shows what God did in and through people who
dared to trust His promises (Rom. 15:4). When you read the Gospels,
you see the greatest example of endurance in Jesus Christ. [Chapter
by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
A famous Bible chapter--Hebrews 11, is sometimes called the
"Hall of Faith." For the original readers of Hebrews, hearing all of
those familiar names must have been an inspiring reminder of their
heritage and of the many faithful followers of God who had gone before.
Apparently those original readers were weary from persecution and
struggling to stay true to their faith in an increasingly hostile
environment. After hearing the names of faithful believers throughout the
centuries, the readers were challenged to also persevere in their faith.
These faithful people from the past are a "huge crowd of witnesses,"
witnessing to those first-century believers and to us today through the
historical record of their faithfulness. They encourage us to keep going,
for the reward is well worth it!
You run your own race, but you don't run alone. You have the
example of those who have gone before you, you have fellow believers
alive today to encourage you, and you have Jesus to empower you. When
you're sweating and your legs ache, your lungs burn and you don't know
if you can keep going--look to Jesus. Remember what he did for you.
Keep going. The finish line is just ahead. [The One Year Bible for
New Believers re Heb. 12:1-3]
The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up
whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently, and to
struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live
effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble if we look away
from him to stare at ourselves or at the circumstances surrounding
us. We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must
always keep him in sight. [Life Application SB]
Enoch kept the Lord ever before him, and the Inspired Word says
that he "walked with God." He made Christ his constant companion. He
was in the world, and performed his duties to the world; but he was
ever under the influence of Jesus. He reflected Christ's character,
exhibiting the same qualities of goodness, mercy, tender compassion,
sympathy, forbearance, meekness, humility, and love. His association with
Christ day by day transformed him into the image of Him with whom he
was so intimately connected. Day by day he was growing away from his
own way into Christ's way, the heavenly, the divine, in his thoughts
and feelings. He was constantly inquiring, Is this the way of the
Lord? His was a constant growth, and he had fellowship with the Father
and the Son. This is genuine sanctification (RH April 28, 1891).
When I was eleven, I heard a Christian rock band play the song
"Jesus Loves Me," and in that moment, for the first time I heard God
say to me personally that he loved me and had a plan for my life. In
an instant the faith of my parents became my own faith, and with my
conversion experience came a sense of calling on my life. I wept to think
the God of the universe wanted this little elevenyear-old boy to be
a part of what he was doing on the earth..
The beauty of heaven is beyond our imagination, but we do know
it will be filled with praises to our God. As a worship leader, I
love how Hebrews 12 reminds us to fix our eyes on the glory of the
Lord. The best way I know to avoid all the entanglements along the
path of life isn't to be distracted by those traps but to stay
focused on the personhood of Jesus himself. He is our hope, our
strength, and the ultimate prize for which we run!
Tommy Walker is a worship leader at Christian Assembly, Los
Angeles, and the writer of more than one hundred songs sung in churches
around the world, including "Only a God Like You," "That's Why We
Praise Him," and "Mourning into Dancing." [The One Year Bible Live
I remember ten years ago, standing in the park close to our
home and hearing the words but not grasping what was happening: "You
were right," he said. "I've fallen in love with Jill, and I'm
Leaving? After twenty years of marriage? Walking away, just
like that, from me; from our two teenage daughters; and worse, from
our church, where he was the pastor? Leaving with the church
secretary and not even giving me a chance?
He walked to his car, and I blindly got into mine. It was
sudden, brutal, and final. I drove home and mechanically walked in. What
was I going to do? How was I going to survive? How could I endure
the extreme pain already pounding in my chest? I dropped to my knees
and simply said, "Lord, this is one of those times when I can't do
this. You will have to do it for me." And then I realized I had a
choice to make. Would I turn toward God or away? I chose to look to
Jesus, "the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of
the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross."
This was a race I didn't choose. It was hard, and it was
painful, but I persevered only because my eyes were fixed on him.
Kim Johnson, a freelance writer and dramatist, is the author
of Working Women's Devotions to Go, and a legal secretary and
assistant to the vice president, general counsel, at Disneyland Resort.
Kim and her husband have four children and five grandchildren. [The
One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
We had been married for more than twenty years, including the
last two years of my husband's undergraduate school, then medical
school, internship, and residency. He was a successful physician, and we
had two great kids. Life was going well. I had even become a
Christian in the last couple of years and had answered God's call to lead
a Bible Study Fellowship group.
That's when my husband came home and informed me that he had
quit work. After a few months, he told me he was going to become a
professional gambler. Every Monday he flew to Las Vegas and every Friday he
returned home. I was mortified, deeply ashamed, and scared, and my
children were more than confused. What was I to do? I could pray. Very
soon, through a lesson in Bible Study Fellowship, God gave me Hebrews
12:2. What a relief! Jesus endured the cross, disregarding its shame!
By keeping my eyes on him, I could also move past any fear and
shame. The song "Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus," which parallels this
verse, also became a great source of comfort, and I sang it often.
That season of brokenness was more than fifteen years ago. We
have now been married thirty-seven years, and we have five
grandchildren. My husband is a Christian, and we are growing daily in the Lord.
All praise to God!
Diane Thornton, recently retired after leading Bible Study
Fellowship for sixteen years, is director of the handbell choir at her
church and is a volunteer for a domestic violence ministry. [The One
Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
More mornings than not I drag myself out of bed and onto the
Street... I run because I don't like cardiologists.
Since heart disease runs in our family, I run in our
neighborhood. As the sun is rising, I am running. And as I am running, my body
is groaning. It doesn't want to cooperate. My knee hurts. My hip is
stiff. My ankles complain...
Things hurt. And as things hurt, I've learned that I have
three options. Go home. (Denalyn would laugh at me.) Meditate on my
hurts until I start imagining I'm having chest pains. (Pleasant
thought.) Or I can keep running and watch the sun come up... If I watch
God's world go from dark to golden, guess what? The same happens to my
attitude. The pain passes and the joints loosen.... Everything improves as I
fix my eyes on the sun.
Wasn't that the counsel found in Hebrews - "look only to
Jesus"? [Grace For The Moment SB By Max Lucado re Heb. 12:1, 2]
CLASSIC SERMON ON THIS PASSAGE: Looking Unto Jesus by Theodore