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Hebrews As A Breaking of Bread Exhortation (Hebrews 12)

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Hebrews 12

Think about Jesus
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 to Jesus the author and completer of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has been sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
   3 Think on him that endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your striving against sin you have yet to resist to the point of shedding your blood.

The reason for suffering in the life of believers
5 You have forgotten the word of encouragement which reasons with you as with sons: My son, do not regard lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor become faint when you are reproved by Him. 6 For the Lord disciplines those whom He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.
   7 Endure your sufferings as a father’s chastening; it shows how God deals with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not chastise? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have been made partakers, then aren't you illegitimate children and not real sons? 9 Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them respect; shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed good to them; but He for our profit, so that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields peaceable fruit to those that have been exercised thereby- the fruit of righteousness. 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 disabled further, but rather be healed.

   14 Follow after peace with all men, and the holiness without which no one shall see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many are defiled. 16 Ensure that no one is an immoral or Godless person like Esau, who for one meal sold his own birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no conditions for a change of mind, though he sought it diligently with tears.

Zion rather than Sinai
18 For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words which they that heard them begged that no more words should be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure that which was commanded- If even a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned. 21 And so fearful was the appearance that Moses said: I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.
   22 But you have come to association with mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborns, who are enrolled in heaven; and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. 25 See you do not reject him that speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected Him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that warns from heaven. 26 Whose voice then shook the earth, but now He has promised, saying: Yet once more will I make to tremble not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And further: Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.


12:1 The faithful listed in chapter 11 are as it were a great crowd who are cheering us on as we run our race towards the Kingdom.

12:3 Think on Him- We are to live life always “looking to Jesus” (v. 2). But how many times each day do we think of Him? We should be reading something of Him each day, reflecting on Him and His words, so that His example is the constant guide for our lives.

12:4 An allusion to Jesus sweating as it were drops of blood as He battled temptation in Gethsemane (Lk. 22:44).

12:5-11 Suffering comes from God, and in the context of Christian life it is given in order to develop us spiritually. The idea that good things come from God and bad things from Satan is therefore wrong. Nothing is chance or bad luck in our lives. God is in control and all negative things occur for our ultimate good as believers. This takes some faith to accept.

12:14 Our ultimate hope is to “see the Lord”. Job in the Old Testament rejoiced in this same hope- that in the very end, he would see God face to face (Job 19:26).

12:17 It would seem from this that last minute repentance before the judgment seat, even with tears, will not change our destiny- now are our great days of opportunity.

12:24 The blood of Christ speaks to us; we cannot be passive to the fact Christ died for us. It is an imperative and call to action- and we should not refuse that voice of the cross (v. 25).

12:28 If we are motivated by grace, in response to the fact God has graciously given us the Kingdom, then our works of response on this basis are pleasing to God.