HEBREWS 11:32 - 12:2
JANUARY 27, 2019
Several of the names in verse 32 are encountered in the OT book of Judges: Gideon (chapters 6-7), Barak (4-5), Samson (13-16), and Jephthah (11-12).
“Our author...uses the dramatic imagery of an athletic contest in which the competitors down in the arena are surrounded by the crowded tiers of an amphitheater. The analogy, which was natural enough in an empire where athletic games provided an entertaining spectacle for the populace in many different cities is found in the classical literature of Greece... (Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews). Hughes notes that Greek competitors would have stripped naked, so the analogy is meant to be graphic. Remove whatever you must to run this race well.
DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO GET INTO...
In NT Greek, the verb translated “commended” (11:39) and the noun “witnesses” (12:1) have the same root. It is legal terminology pertaining to“testimony” or “testifying.” The verb has already shown up several times in chapter 11: “the people of old received their commendation” (v.2); “Abel...was commended as righteous” (v. 4); “Enoch...was commended as having pleased God” (v. 5). The writer of Hebrews highlights that God testifies about those who believe him, that they are righteous in his sight, and that believers testify about God, that he keeps his word and can be trusted as we “run”!
Chapter 11 is full of questionable people: Rahab the prostitute, Samson the womanizer, etc. What is the writer telling us about faith by including these names?
Who “sets” our race before us (12:1)? Why is it important to know this?
What do you need to “lay aside” (v. 1) as you run your race? How in particular has this
thing hindered your running?
How can it encourage us that Jesus isn’t just the object of our faith, but also “the
founder and perfecter” of it?