Fix Your Eyes On Jesus

Hebrews 12:2 says, “looking unto Jesus , the author and 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.”

Just as a runner concentrates on the finishing line, so we should concentrate on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus shot the starting pistol – we started out on our spiritual life because the Holy Spirit drew us to Christ (John 6:44), and He is the one who will perfect our faith. Jesus was at the start and is at the end of the race. He is the One who brings our faith into being and causes it to grow, and He will bring it to maturity and perfection.

Jesus endured the pain, shame and humiliation of the cross for our sake, so we could be made right with God. What was the joy that was set before Him? Luke 15:7 says, “… there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” The joy was the Father’s pleasure at Jesus’ sacrifice and the repentance of sinners who otherwise would have no means of being made right with God. Furthermore Jesus was glorified at the Father’s right hand. He scorned the shame of the cross – Jesus died as someone disgraced, outside the city (Hebrews 13:13) and He died as someone cursed (Galatians 3:13) Crucifixion was the most degrading kind of execution that could be inflicted on a person, but Jesus scorned its shame because He knew what it would accomplish. Similarly the humiliation of our present suffering for the gospel’s sake is far outweighed by the prospect of future glory.(see Hebrews 11:26 and 2 Corinthians 4:17,18)

Likewise, we too, if we are obedient,  can look forward to the joy set before us . Matthew 25:21 says, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

Now, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the throne of God. The work of redemption is complete and Jesus is actively ruling with God as Lord over all.

The right hand of God is a position of authority, second only to God’s.

The more you look at someone, the more their likeness is imprinted into your mind. Let Jesus influence your life. Men put blinkers on working horses so they are not distracted by things on either side. If our eyes are on Jesus we should be blinkered to the things of the world that seek to distract us. The Bible is not talking about a quick glance on a Sunday morning, but steadily and continually fixing your eyes on Jesus.

Let Jesus transform you.

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Perseverance


Hebrews 12:1,2  says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great  cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 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”

The Greek word “martus” translated ” witnesses” is the origin of the English word “martyr” and means “testifies, witnesses”.

Here, Christianity is compared to a long distance race and we need perseverance to finish it.

This letter was written to Jewish converts who were familiar with the Old Testament and were being tempted to revert to Judaism or to Judaise the gospel.

The witnesses are the heroes of the faith who were mentioned in Hebrews 11 and they are our inspiring examples. Examples of some of these heroes are Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph , Moses, Gideon etc. They and others through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, were tortured, had trial of mockings and scourges, chains and imprisonment, were stoned, sawn in two, were tempted and slain with the sword. Their work on earth has been done. Now the baton has been passed on – to you and I.

To run this race successfully we need to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

We can take comfort in the fact that this race has been marked out for us. The Lord directs our steps and our stops. If He has brought us to it, He will bring us through it. God says, “This is the way, walk in it.”

The definition of “perseverance” is “the steadfast pursuit of an objective” or “the constant persistence , for example in a belief ”

Throwing off everything that hinders is like someone in a hot air balloon throwing out everything that’s heavy so the balloon can rise. Everything that gets in the way of serving God needs to go.

The Christian life is not a short sprint – it is a long distance race and we will need perseverance. There will be peaks and troughs. Despite all that, we need to keep going. Just as a runner concentrates on the finishing line we need to concentrate (fix our eyes on ) Jesus.

It will be worth it in the end!

Hebrews 10:36 says “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”