“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
When we see a “wherefore” in the Bible, the passage is always referring to the previous verses. In today’s text we notice that the “Wherefore” here is the first word of Chapter 12, so we must look back at Chapter 11 to see the context of our verse.
Chapter 11 of Hebrews is quite often called the “Hall of Fame of Faith” or “The Faith Chapter”. It is here where we find faith defined and explained by example. The “cloud of witnesses” of our verse today refers back to those heroes of our faith that are mentioned in Chapter 11. These were pillars of example that we can glean so much Truth from their faithful lives to their Faithful God.
Because of their examples of faith, we are admonished here to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us”. We are to disregard the hindrances that are placed upon our lives in order to distract us from God’s plan and purpose. It is so easy to be blinded by sin until we become immune to the effect that is having on us. Sin weighs us down little by little until we are so consumed by it, we cannot walk with the Lord. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us.
We must have tunnel vision!
When you travel through a tunnel you can no longer see and experience your surroundings. There are no more trees or beautiful landscapes to gaze upon as you drive down the road when you are in a tunnel. You are forced to look ahead. When you nearly reach the other side of the tunnel the light begins to appear first, then gradually gets larger until you emerge out of the tunnel on the other side to find your surroundings completely different. The tunnel has a purpose. It was taking you through something that you could not pass through easily had it not been there.
We must develop tunnel vision as Christians as we run the race that is set before us. As we enter the tunnel of faith we are no longer blinded by the sin of the world around us, and we are forced to look ahead. ”Looking unto Jesus...”
Jesus Christ is the Author and the Finisher of our Faith. He endured the cross because He saw the joy that would come through the pain. He saw us. He despised the shame that was put upon Him because He had tunnel vision to what lied ahead. He would soon be “set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Remember when Peter and the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and they set out to go to the other side as Jesus commanded them? When the storm arose that night, and Christ began walking on the water toward them, they were afraid. He comforted them by saying “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Peter doubted that it was Him, and asked to come out on the water. Jesus gave Him permission, and allowed him to experience the miracle of walking upon the waves of the sea with the Master. He walked until he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to view the boisterous winds. Peter then began to sink. He lost his tunnel vision.
Christian, seek God’s help to develop tunnel vision in your life today. Ask God to block the view of any hindrances and begin to focus your eyes on the Author of your Faith.
I Kings 19-20 | II Corinthians 12 | Psalm 131
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