Remember the last chapter, where the author of this book talked about that Hall of Fame of people of great faith? Moses, Abraham, Rahab, etc? These are those who have gone before us. Those who ran the race and finished. When the author, here in the opening verse of chapter 12 refers to a large crowd of witnesses, it’s a sort of reference to the Olympic games, where there was a stadium full of people gathered to watch contestants running a race.
And as the contestants in a race keep their eyes focused on the finish line, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. And to run the best race possible, we must set aside anything that would hinder our best efforts.
Then the author talked about the correction that we sometimes get from our Heavenly Father. Correction from a loving father is not with the intent on retribution, but on correction in order to bring us into right action and Godly living. A father that doesn’t care about his children’s welfare doesn’t correct, but one who wants the best for them is diligent and consistent with discipline. So when God corrects us, we should be thankful. It confirms that we are His.
And then the author tells us that we should be concerned about each other, and gives specific ways to do so. Welcome strangers, remember those in jail, be faithful husbands and wives. And don’t fall in love with money, but be satisfied with what we have. Respect our spiritual leaders. And make a sacrifice of worship to God, meaning that since the Mosaic sacrifice is no longer needed, the sacrifice we are to make is that of worshipping and honoring God.
Yes, this book was written to the Hebrews, but it applies to us as well here in the 21st century. We are running a race, and all of us who belong to Christ can finish the race with a victory, because he already won.
What do you think?