Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Being a Christ-follower is a big responsibility. We represent Jesus and His church. The author writes that we function as a Christian in a world that is not. We have such a great cloud of witnesses watching the way we behave and act. This comes on the heels of the great statements of Faith that were written about in the previous chapter. The author was attempting to convey the fact that we as Christ-followers need to live by faith, and that faith is a witness to the rest of the world.
When we operate in the faith that is displayed like the great men and women who were mentioned before, such as Abraham, Gideon, Rahab, Samson, and David, we become a good witness for the cause of Christ. When we fail to operate in faith we present a life that is not honoring to God. Because that faith is needed to please God, and we have many people wanting to see if what we preach is real, then we need to remove those things which tarnish our example to the world. The author compares our Christian journey as a race. When you compete in a running event you don’t want to be bogged down. You want your body to move free. So just as in a race, we need to remove those things that would mess up our witness to the world. Lay aside every weight, or those things that keep you from being the Christ-follower you need to be. Does TV get in the way of you serving God the way you ought? If it does, remove it from your life. What about dating, ball games, video games, or countless other things that fills up our calendar, and does not bring us closer to our goal. The point is to recognize those things that do not need to be in your life right now, and then streamline your life. It is up to you to add margin in your life.
The same thing needs to be said about sin. If there is known sin in your life, you need to remove it so that you can operate and demonstrate your faith in front of those cloud of witnesses. Oh, by the way, that cloud starts in your own home. Make sure you are living out your faith before your family. We live our Christianity before the world; do you honor Jesus in the way you walk?
Old Testament: Ezek. 17-19 New Testament Hebrews 13