The Call to Endurance

12 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses(A) surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance(B) the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus,[a] the pioneer and perfecter[b] of our faith. For the joy that lay before him,[c] he endured the cross, despising the shame,(C) and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Fatherly Discipline

For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.(D) In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:

My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly
or lose heart when you are reproved by him,
for the Lord disciplines the one he loves
and punishes every son he receives.[d](E)

Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive[e]—then you are illegitimate children and not sons.(F) Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live?(G) 10 For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness.(H) 11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit(I) of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.(J)

12 Therefore, strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees,(K) 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated[f] but healed instead.(L)

Warning against Rejecting God’s Grace

14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness(M)—without it no one will see the Lord.(N) 15 Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many.(O) 16 And make sure that there isn’t any immoral[g] or irreverent(P) person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for a single meal.(Q) 17 For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, even though he sought it with tears, because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance.(R)

18 For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, 19 to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, 20 for they could not bear what was commanded: If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.[h](S) 21 The appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am trembling with fear.[i](T) 22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels, a festive gathering,(U) 23 to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been written[j] in heaven, to a Judge, who is God of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect,(V) 24 and to Jesus, the mediator(W) of a new covenant,(X) and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.(Y)

25 See to it that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven.(Z) 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.[k](AA) 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken(AB)—that is, created things—so that what is not shaken might remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe,(AC) 29 for our God is a consuming fire.(AD)

Footnotes

  1. 12:2 Or us, looking to Jesus
  2. 12:2 Or the founder and completer, or the source and perfecter
  3. 12:2 Or who instead of the joy lying before him
  4. 12:6 Pr 3:11–12
  5. 12:8 Lit discipline, of which all have become participants
  6. 12:13 Or so that the lame will not be turned aside
  7. 12:16 Or sexually immoral
  8. 12:20 Ex 19:12
  9. 12:21 Dt 9:19
  10. 12:23 Or registered
  11. 12:26 Hg 2:6

12 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(A) with perseverance(B) the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,(C) the pioneer(D) and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,(E) scorning its shame,(F) and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(G) Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary(H) and lose heart.

God Disciplines His Children

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.(I) And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart(J) when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,(K)
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a](L)

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.(M) For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline(N)—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits(O) and live!(P) 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.(Q) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace(R) for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.(S) 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b](T) so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.(U)

Warning and Encouragement

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone(V) and to be holy;(W) without holiness no one will see the Lord.(X) 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God(Y) and that no bitter root(Z) grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral,(AA) or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.(AB) 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears,(AC) he could not change what he had done.

The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;(AD) 19 to a trumpet blast(AE) or to such a voice speaking words(AF) that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them,(AG) 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[c](AH) 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d](AI)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion,(AJ) to the city(AK) of the living God,(AL) the heavenly Jerusalem.(AM) You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn,(AN) whose names are written in heaven.(AO) You have come to God, the Judge of all,(AP) to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,(AQ) 24 to Jesus the mediator(AR) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood(AS) that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.(AT)

25 See to it that you do not refuse(AU) him who speaks.(AV) If they did not escape when they refused him who warned(AW) them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?(AX) 26 At that time his voice shook the earth,(AY) but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[e](AZ) 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken(BA)—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,(BB) let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,(BC) 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”[f](BD)

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 12:6 Prov. 3:11,12 (see Septuagint)
  2. Hebrews 12:13 Prov. 4:26
  3. Hebrews 12:20 Exodus 19:12,13
  4. Hebrews 12:21 See Deut. 9:19.
  5. Hebrews 12:26 Haggai 2:6
  6. Hebrews 12:29 Deut. 4:24

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