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We Must Look Off to Jesus

12 Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles[a] us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us, fixing our attention on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of the faith, who, in view of[b] the joy set before him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Father Disciplines Us

Think about the one who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you may not become tired and give up. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your[c] blood. You have forgotten the encouragement that is addressed to you as sons:

“My son, do not think lightly of the Lord’s[d] discipline
    or give up when you are corrected by him.
For the Lord[e] disciplines the one he loves,
    and he punishes[f] every son he accepts.”[g]

What you endure disciplines you: God is treating you as sons. Is there a son whom his father does not discipline? Now if you are without any discipline, in which all sons share, then you are illegitimate and not God’s[h] sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them for it. We should submit even more to the Father of our spirits and live, shouldn’t we? 10 For a short time they disciplined us as they thought best, but God[i] does it for our good, so that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, for those who have been trained by it, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Live as God’s People

12 Therefore, strengthen your tired arms and your weak knees, 13 and straighten the paths of your life,[j] so that your lameness may not become worse, but instead may be healed.

14 Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up and causes you trouble, or many of you will become defiled. 16 No one should be immoral or godless like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterwards, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he could not find any opportunity to repent, even though he begged to repent[k] with tears.

18 You have not come to something[l] that can be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, to gloom, 19 to a trumpet’s blast, or to a voice that made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the command that was given: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[m] 21 Indeed, the sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[n] 22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to tens of thousands of angels joyfully gathered together, 23 to the assembly[o] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to a judge who is the God of all, to the spirits of righteous people who have been made perfect, 24 to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better message than Abel’s.

25 See to it that you do not ignore the one who is speaking. For if the hearers[p] did not escape when they ignored the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape[q] if we turn away from the one who is from heaven! 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.”[r] 27 The expression “once more”[s] signifies the removal of what can be shaken, that is, what he has made, so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and worship God in reverence and fear in a way that pleases him. 29 For “our God is an all-consuming fire.”[t]


  1. Hebrews 12:1 Other mss. read distracts
  2. Hebrews 12:2 Or instead
  3. Hebrews 12:4 The Gk. lacks the point of shedding your
  4. Hebrews 12:5 MT source citation reads Lord
  5. Hebrews 12:6 MT source citation reads Lord
  6. Hebrews 12:6 Or whips
  7. Hebrews 12:6 Cf. Prov 3:11-12
  8. Hebrews 12:8 Lit. his
  9. Hebrews 12:10 Lit. he
  10. Hebrews 12:13 Lit. feet
  11. Hebrews 12:17 Lit. begged for it
  12. Hebrews 12:18 Other mss. read to a mountain
  13. Hebrews 12:20 Cf. Exod 19:12-13
  14. Hebrews 12:21 Cf. Deut 9:19
  15. Hebrews 12:23 Or church
  16. Hebrews 12:25 Lit. if they
  17. Hebrews 12:25 The Gk. lacks escape
  18. Hebrews 12:26 Cf. Hag 2:6
  19. Hebrews 12:27 Cf. Hag 2:6
  20. Hebrews 12:29 Cf. Deut 4:24