Hebrews 12 Read, Study, & Breakdown
PART ONE – (vv. 1-17)
The Race of Faith
12 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 [a]author and [b]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.
The Discipline of God
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the [c]chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If[d] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no [e]chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Renew Your Spiritual Vitality
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or [f]profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
NOTES HEBREWS 12 – (v. 1, vv. 2-3, vv. 4-11, v. 13, and vv. 14-17)
12:1: The cloud of witnesses includes not only the OT saints mentioned in Hebrews 11, but all the saints and the martyrs of the Lord in all ages … If they made it, so we can motivate us … We preserve by getting rid of sin, the weight that keeps us from seeing, seeking, and hearing the truth; we must make our destination the heavenly city, running the race of faith; and keeping our attention focused on Jesus Christ our Lord and King – (HEBREWS 12:2) … The race is not a sprint but a marathon of endurance: It does not end until we fully enter the age to come – (see, also 1Corinthians 9:24-27) …
Hebrews 12:2: 2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]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
1Corinthians 9:24-27: Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may [a]obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize [b]is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus, I fight not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
12:2-3: Christ is both the author, that is the “initiator”, and “THE FINISHER”, that is, the perfecter of faith … His joy was to do God’s will … He endured the cross in that He voluntarily accepted humiliation and death … “WE ARE CALLED TO DO THE SAME AS OUR LORD, IMITATE HIS DETERMINATION AND PERSEVERANCE…”
12:4-11: Unpleasant circumstances, which tempt us to complain, may be the chastening of the Lord – (V. 5) … If the loving discipline of our human fathers brought us to respect them, how much more deserving of respect is the discipline of the Father of spirits – (v. 9), our Creator, whose breath gives us life – (Genesis 1:26; and Genesis 2:7)???
Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [a]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 2:7: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
12:13: Straight paths is a theme found throughout both the OT and the NT … See also (Isaiah 40:3, and Matthew 7:13-14) …
Isaiah 40:3: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight [a]in the desert A highway for our God.
Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 [a]Because narrow is the gate and [b]difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
12:14-17: An especially heavy “weight” – (v. 1) is bitterness, a spirit of habitual complaining … Bitterness refuses God’s chastening and defiles us before God … Esau became bitter about Jacob’s easy, favored life in contrast to his own life of difficulties … So, bitterness blinded Esau to what was truly valuable … It cut off his endurance, so he traded his family honor, his birthright, for one small meal – (Genesis 25:27-34) … For this Esau is called a fornicator – (v. 16), being unfaithful to God and uniting his spirit to this temporary age … Later, Esau changed his mind, his father Isaac would not change his … Esau missed his blessing – (Genesis 27:30-40) … So, our two choices in life our pretty clear it seems, chose either a life of bitterness or a life of blessing …
Genesis 25:27-34: 27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a [a]mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Esau Sells His Birthright
29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called [b]Edom.
31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”
32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so, what is this birthright to me?”
33 Then Jacob said, [c]“Swear to me as of this day.”
So, he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus, Esau despised his birthright.
Genesis 27:30-40: Esau’s Lost Hope
30 Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also had made [a]savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that your soul may bless me.”
32 And his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”
So, he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”
33 Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him—and indeed he shall be blessed.”
34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me—me also, O my father!”
35 But he said, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.”
36 And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named [b]Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
37 Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have [c]sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?”
38 And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:
“Behold, your dwelling shall be of the [d]fatness of the earth, And of the dew of heaven from above. 40 By your sword you shall live, And you shall serve your brother; And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
PSALM 136 (137) STUDY …
Today have perseverance!!!
looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]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.