We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
One of my favorite teaching strategies was using analogies. Analogies are great since you use the knowledge the student already possesses as a starting point. As a teacher, you help the student understand a new concept by using things he or she already understands. Analogies aren’t perfect, but they are a good locale to start.
The Bible uses analogies a lot. The believer is compared to a farmer, a runner, a wrestler, a slave, a bride and groom, and a boxer, just to mention a few. You may not know first had what it’s like to be a farmer, but you can understand the concept of growing plants. If you don’t understand that, chances are you’ve run or walked a path during your life. It’s a good learning tool.
The author of the book Hebrews wrote a letter to Jewish converts to encourage them to embrace Jesus and not to fall back into the pattern of trusting in Jewish regulations and traditions for their salvation.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Good advice. After chapter 11, which lists off the faithful, who believed before the promise was fulfilled, Chapter 12 begins with run the race, by keeping your eyes on Jesus. I can relate to other people who were just like me. I can relate to the prostitute; someone who takes matters into her own hands and decides to live life on her own terms making sure she’s ok. I can relate to waiting for a promise to be fulfilled, although I would have a hard time waiting as long as Noah. I can set my desires aside and work hard for what seems to be the better outcome like Moses. All of those examples were good and you can learn a lesson from each one but the writer of Hebrews doesn’t tell you to fix your eyes on any of those great biblical heroes.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Why tell all of the great stories of the Old Testament heroes and then give the command, Keep your eyes on Jesus? I like how The Message paraphrases Hebrews 12:2-3:
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.
Study how he did it.
Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way:
Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.
When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again,
item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through.
That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Jesus ran the race you are in; He started it and completed it. Jesus knows what it takes to run up-hill, to run when all your friends quit, to run when you are tired, alone, worn-out, afraid; Jesus knows.
Jesus’ example is to keep your site fixed on the end. If your sights are fixed on the end, you aren’t distracted by all the “stuff” in between. If you find yourself running in circles, slowing down, thinking about stopping, heed the good advice and go over the story again, item by item.
This month keep your eyes on Jesus as you celebrate His birth!
Father, that you for sending your Son to be our example. Help me keep my eyes fixed on his example. Teach me from Christ’s example.