From Pastor’s Desk: 7-11-15
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)
The NIV translation, in my opinion, breaks up the continuity of thought from verse one, in that it tends to make this verse stand alone, which, again in my opinion, does not.
There is a reason we must “fix our eyes on Jesus” or, be “looking unto Jesus.” That reason being that there are many who have gone before us (great cloud of witnesses) to pave the way of Christendom. They have fought the battles, engaging in heavy warfare with the devil, living lives of faith that overcame those great and bothersome obstacles that would have “easily beset” them, had they not laid aside weights and sins that would have been significantly instrumental in bringing spiritual ruin to them.
They recognized that the shame they were experiencing as they went through those “fiery trials” only made them strong, thus able to persevere (1 Peter 4:13). They realized that overcoming a temptation was not optional, but necessitated a holy life in Christ that would enable them to do so (Phil. 4:13). Their affections were so set on things above that they would not be deterred (Col. 3:1-2, 5).
They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that an overcoming life could be done only by “looking unto Jesus,” deriving from Him all the power of the Holy Spirit that would enable them to set a precedence by which we currently can also be over-comers. They looked unto Jesus, knowing that when He ascended, it was to His rightful place at the right hand of the Father, where He is forever making intercession for them.
Theirs was the mind-set and purpose of heart to persevere until one day their faith would end in sight of glory, where they would no longer have to live by faith, but experience the result of said faith.
Reader, you are, of course, welcome to your interpretation of this verse, but as you do so, think of all those who have gone before, that “great a cloud of witnesses” and, having the assurance that we to, by “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” will someday no longer, as they can attest, have to live by faith but live eternally in heaven, experiencing that moment when our faith, also, has ended in sight.