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, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
In the context of these verses, the writer has just laid out a huge list of faithful saints from the past. (That is the cloud of witnesses.) The writer has gone through all kinds of examples to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and how God cares for us in such a way as to send the Messiah to save us at just the right time.
The whole book of Hebrews is building up to this section of verses calling us to believe in Jesus the Messiah and to not give up.
To call Him the “founder” is to place Him before Moses, before Abraham, before Noah, and even before Adam. But to call Him the “perfecter” is to place Him at the end of all time; the One that finishes everything up. Jesus is all of that!
The original audience of the book of Hebrews was a group of Christians that used to be Jewish and were suffering because they were following Christ. That’s why there is so much encouragement to persevere in Hebrews.
The thing that is so neat is how the author encourages us isn’t by telling us about how great or strong we are, but by laying out 11 chapters of how great and strong Jesus is! And He’s the One that has saved us!
So in our own heart and soul, as we are struggling to persevere, let’s follow that same pattern. Let’s set our eyes on Jesus and learn more and more about who He is. Let’s get to know Him better and better and thus fall more in love with following His ways.
Many people can follow a lot of different religions and mix in a lot of things, but following a person and living out His life is completely different. This is a lot of what Jesus was saying about John the Baptist yesterday. Following ‘beliefs’ and ‘rules’ or ‘traditions’ is a completely different thing than fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Call on Him and seek Him out in the Gospels and in the events of your day today. He loves you so much and wants to show you His ways.