Looking to Jesus

I have been reading through the book of Hebrews the last little while, and it has been great to remember and reflect on some of the great things I learned when I took a course on this book back in my Tyndale days! Something new stood out to me though, so of course I wanted to share it here.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…

I felt extra inspired and encouraged reading through Hebrews 11 this round. Really reflecting on the faith that has been expressed by a countless number of people who have gone before me, thinking about the stories I do know from the Bible, from history, from life, and then realizing that a bajillion stories of faith (actually a bajillion :P) have been lived but not recorded, or recorded but not made famous, or are famous but I just don’t know them yet. When I arrived at Hebrews 12 after enjoying Hebrews 11 so much, it was a good reminder to me that these amazing stories are valuable because they witness to Jesus. Apart from Jesus, stories of faith are just inspirational examples of one-time miracles, accounts of confusing decisions that worked out okay, and excerpts from the lives of crazy people.

It is great to have spiritual heroes, to look up to people of faith, but ultimately our attention should be focused on Jesus himself. I think it is so good to know stories of faith, and these witnesses can be a great source of encouragement, but they are witnesses because they are not central; they point to who is central. Jesus is the one who has created and is fulfilling our story, so he is the one our eyes should be on each day.

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