12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us,2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
3 Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
A Father’s Discipline
4 You have not yet struggled to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;5 and you have [c]forgotten the divine word of encouragement which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not make light of the discipline of the Lord, And do not lose heartandgive up when you are corrected by Him; 6 For the Lord disciplinesandcorrects those whom He loves, And He punishes every son whom He receivesandwelcomes [to His heart].”
7 You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for [d]what son is there whom his father does not discipline?8 Now if you are exempt from correction and without discipline, in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate children and not sons [at all].9 Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we submitted and respected them [for training us]; shall we not much more willingly submit to the Father of [e]spirits, and live [by learning from His discipline]?10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short time as seemed best to them; but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose].
12 So then, strengthen hands that are weak and knees that tremble.13 Cut through and make smooth, straight paths for your feet [that are safe and go in the right direction], so that the leg which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather may be healed.
14 Continually pursue peace with everyone, and the sanctification without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:1I.e. the people commended for their faith in ch 11. See 11:2, 39.
Hebrews 12:2Sometimes the public shame of the cross is overlooked when one thinks of the pain and agony inflicted by it, but in the Roman Empire crucifixion was a shameful and disgraceful way to die, a form of capital punishment from which Roman citizens were exempt; and in Roman comedy it was used in a curse: “Go to a bad cross!”
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