We begin this week by looking at Hebrews 12:1-13
v1: Many times, people are afraid to be by themselves. When we walk in obedience or demonstrate faith, in this world, we are often by ourselves. Sometimes being faithful to G-d puts us into a very lonely place.
- Every weight: Those things that burden us, weigh us down and keep us from rising up to have a better spiritual perspective (Phil 3:14)
- Sin which so easily ensnares us: When we are engaging in sin it entangles us so that we cannot move to the place where G-d wants us to be.
- With endurance: When we turn away from the worldly concerns, that weigh us down, and we repent from our sins, it gives us endurance.
- Run… the race: Running a race requires proper preparation and having insight into the course so that we can run wisely. If we run foolishly, we are not going to win the prize (1 Cor 9:24-27)
v2: Looking: In order to be able to see properly we have to do so from the right perspective or vantage point. It is only when we are not weighed down by the things of this world and we have turned from our sins that we are going to be able to look and see properly.
- Author and finisher: Author/Founder has to do with beginnings, the One who begun our faith. Finisher has to do with reaching the end, but with a degree of perfection attached to it – not because of us, but because He is the One (Messiah) who founds and finishes our faith.
- Endured the cross: Messiah was able to lay down His life because of a perspective – He saw the (Kingdom) joy that was set before Him. Joy would be the outcome of His endurance or perseverance, and, for Yeshua, that was worth dying on the cross. Faithfulness, to the call and will of G-d in our lives, will cause us to be overjoyed with the results and will give us endurance to preserve as Messiah did.
- Despising (disregarding) the shame: He thought little of the bad report the world placed upon Him. When they heaped insults on Him, He did not do anything, because He knew the truth, He had a Kingdom perspective.
v3: Consider Him: We are called to highly esteem what Yeshua did, consider (much and often) what He endured. If we do this, our souls will not get tired or faint from the things that G-d has called us to do. We need to remember His sufferings, but also remember His faithfulness so that we do not become spiritually weary, and we are encouraged to press on.
v4: Not yet resisted to bloodshed: Messiah, in order to fulfil His call, had to endure the shedding of blood. The author is telling this congregation that they have not suffered any blood loss, they have not put all of their own lives into it (yet).
v5: Forgotten: They have forgotten their position in Messiah.
- My son, do not despise: Think little of (This is a verse taken from Prov 3:11)
- The chastening (discipline) of the L-rd: In order to grow we are going to be disciplined. We are disciplined by our Heavenly Father when we disobey. Another form of discipline is when we do the right things and are persecuted by the world. Both of these lead to a desirable outcome because they impact us and cause us to be conformed to the likeness of Messiah.
- Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked: Do not be discouraged by G-d’s rebuke.
v6: This is a verse taken from Prov 3:12.
- For whom the L-rd loves: G-d does not discipline us out of anger, but out of love.
- Scourges: Floggings. An intense form of punishment.
v7: Endure chastening: If we submit to G-d’s authority He will treat us as sons. Do not despair or get angry when you go through these things, because G-d is acting as a righteous Heavenly Father. This discipline will help us to develop a Kingdom character and will cause us to inherit the Kingdom blessings.
- What son is there whom a father does not chasten?: Earthly fathers, who love their children, also discipline their children.
v8: If you are without chastening: For us this is not the case. We have all been partakers of His discipline. If someone is not being disciplined it means that they have not been born from a covenantal relationship.
- Illegitimate: Born out of wedlock. The implication of this is that there is no marriage covenant and therefore no legal obligation for the father to receive the children as his own. Those children were seen as those without a covenantal hope.
- Not sons: Sons inherit. Illegitimate sons do not.
v9: Human fathers: Earthly fathers discipline their children and in return, those who do the disciplining, are respected and feared.
- Father of spirits: He is the Father of all creation – even in the Heavenly realm.
- Live: The purpose of discipline is that we should find life, a right way of living
v10: They: Our parents
- But: In contrast to; We submit to our earthly parents. All the more so, therefore, should we submit to our Heavenly Father. Likewise, if parents do what they think is best how much more so G-d who knowswhat is best.
- We may be partakers of His holiness: His discipline has an impact on us as it conforms us to be like Him. We are going to be holy, like He is holy. Holy speaks about purpose. We are going to reaffirm His purposes in our lives.
v11: Peaceable fruit of righteousness: Peace speaks of the outcome of doing the will of G-d. When we do the will of G-d the outcome is righteousness. The purpose of G-d’s discipline is to transform us into who He wants us to be so that we can manifest Kingdom truth in our lives.
v13: G-d disciplines us so that we are healed and do not go the wrong way. He does not desire us to be in a spiritual condition where we are disjointed and cannot function properly.