02 March, 2014

March: Reflecting in Heb. 12:1-3

As I planned to do as a resolution for 2014, here is something of a reflection on Hebrews 12:1-3.
12 Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne! So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up. (CEV)
So let's do what verse three (in many versions) tells us to do: consider Jesus. Take a look at verse two in different versions, Jesus is described as the:
  • "pioneer and perfecter of faith" NIV
  • "Initiator and Completer of that trusting" Complete Jewish Bible
  • "who began our faith and who makes it perfect" New Century Version
  • "the champion who initiates and perfects our faith" New Living Translation
  • "the author of faith. He also makes it perfect." New International Readers Version
  • I'm heading to a Women's Retreat
    this week where we'll enjoy a campfire
    like this. The retreat is a great place
    to re-focus on Jesus.
  • "the maker of faith, and the perfect ender" The Wycliffe Bible
I like that last one: "the perfect ender". Don't we always look for the perfect end? We can know the one who will provide that!

What else do these verses tell us about Jesus?
  • enduring, persevering
  • put up with shame and hostility and insults
  • and did the first two because he could see the joy at the end of the suffering, "knew he'd be glad he did" in the CEV words.
  • is now seated in a place of honour, on God's right hand side
And so we're exalted to think about Jesus, to keep our minds on him. Why? So that we won't grow tired or discouraged and give up, not flag in our faith (The Message), or lose heart.

That's what I want. Immunisation for heart that has a tendency to grow tired and discouraged when things are tough. The cure? Keep looking at Jesus! And when my eyes and faith-eyes grow tired, just look again.

That's partly why I've looked at different versions of the same verses above: to help keep it fresh. Because I tend to gloss over the words when I've read it many times, as I have for this passage.

When I'm tempted to think that my life is hard, it is a great reality check to look at Jesus' life, and others mentioned in the chapter just prior to this one.

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