Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
This is an incredible passage that calls Christians to live in light of what Jesus has done for us. The Hebrews 12:2 meaning is both a challenge and an encouragement for followers of Jesus.
This verse is one that every Christian should known and live out. And I think if you spend a few minutes looking at this passage with fresh eyes your faith will be encouraged.
Let’s start by looking at the context of this powerful verse.
The Context Of Hebrews 12:2
The book of Hebrews was written to Jews who started following Jesus. Now because of their faith they were facing persecution from Jews who didn’t believe in Jesus. They were being pressured and tempted to turn their backs toward Jesus. This book is written to encourage it’s readers to stand strong in their faith and keep their eyes on Jesus.
Hebrews chapter 11 is often referred to as the “faith chapter.” It’s one of the most famous chapters in the Bible that focuses on how to live out your faith.
As Hebrews 11 comes to a close and chapter 12 starts, we see a shift from a call to live out our faith to inspiration to do so. Here we see the author give a hall of fame list of heroes of the faith. This is both encouraging and inspiring to the Jewish Christians who were facing trials, hardships, and persecution.
This leads us to Hebrews 12:1 which concludes the previous thoughts with a powerful application for readers. It’s a powerful call to live out our faith.
And Hebrews 12:2 continues on with this same message. So let’s dive in and see what it can teach us today.
The Hebrews 12:2 Meaning
Now that we’ve looked at the context let’s dive into the Hebrews 12:2 meaning. To help you better understand this verse, I’ve broken it down into five sections so that we can see what it’s saying.
Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus
When you are running a race you have to keep your eyes forward. If you turn to look behind, you will slow down, or worse trip and fall. You cannot run full speed while looking behind you.
Just as a runner fixes their eyes on their goal, Christians must fix their eyes on Jesus. If we focus on anything else we will not be running at full strength, and we will put ourselves in danger of falling.
The Pioneer And Perfecter Of Faith
Sometimes referred to as “the author and perfecter of our faith.”
As the pioneer of our faith Jesus blazed the trail for us. He made a way for us to enter back into righteousness. It is by looking to him and placing our faith in him that one can be saved. He alone is our source of hope and salvation.
As the perfecter of faith Jesus is the perfect example of faith lived out. He didn’t just create a path, he finished it. And the rest of this verse continues by telling us how we can live in light of what he has done.
For The Joy Set Before Him He Endured The Cross
Jesus endured the cross, one of the most shameful and painful ways to die. He did so by focusing on the joy that was to come and not the excruciating pain in the moment.
Jesus knew that on the other side of the cross his people would find life. So he willingly went to the cross so that we could be restored and he would receive glory.
This principle is true for us today as well. When we face trials and tribulations we should focus on the joy we have in Christ and remind ourselves that our suffering is temporary. And not only is it temporary, but God will redeem it.
Scorning Its Shame
Crucifixion was designed to not only be as painful as possible but also as humiliating as possible. It was a gruesome way to die and one done so publicly as to bring shame to the victim.
Jesus was beaten and ridiculed. Those in the crowd mocked him, saying he could save others but not himself (Luke 23:35). But little did they know that he was saving them, they just didn’t understand.
And Sat Down At The Right Hand Of The Throne Of God
Jesus’ death was not the end; he raised from the dead and ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God.
To sit on the right hand was a place of honor and authority. That’s why the disciples argued about who would sit at the right hand of Jesus in Mark 10:37, they wanted that honor. But they did not understand what Jesus would have to go through to get that.
The end of this verse shows Jesus’ power and authority. The Hebrews 12:2 meaning shows us that he finished the work set up before him and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God.
What Hebrews 12:2 Means For You Today
So what does Hebrews 12:2 mean for us today?
I think there’s a lot of similarities to the original audience reading this book and us today. There was immense temptation to renounce their faith and turn back to the old way of doing things. That’s true for many today as well. The culture around us is pressing us to abandon our faith and follow what they say is best.
The meaning of Hebrews 12:2 is a challenge for us to keep our eyes on the race before us. To look toward Jesus and what he’s done for us. We can’t look back or take it easy, we must keep pressing forward.
Not only is the verse a challenge, it’s an encouragement. We aren’t running alone. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, and he made a way for us. We can look to him as our example and our source of strength.
So, keep running. Don’t get distracted by the things of this world. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will find incredible peace and joy.
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