Summary: In Christ Jesus we have both the exemplar and the enabler! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world! When we Consider Him, we run the race, we relinquish the weights, and we finish the race to receive the prize.
Text: verse 3
I want to call your attention to the first 3 words of verse 3, in which the writer encourages the reader, “For Consider Him.” This is an appropriate exhortation because the entire book is a treatise on Considering Him. The key to understanding any book of the Bible is to understand how that particular book relates to the person and work of Christ. The Bible is God’s Book and its central theme is Jesus. Every book of the Bible has something to say about Him. The book of Hebrews is a perfect example of this truth. No other Book in all the Bible has more to say about the person and work of the Lord Jesus, as this Book of the Hebrews does. In every chapter, the writer focuses his attention on the Lord Jesus Christ and causes the reader to Consider Him. I know that I say this about every book and passage that I preach from, but Hebrews is my all time favourite book of the New Testament. Yes there are a lot of Jewish references and it is directly connected with the Old Testament –but no other book gives more details concerning the Passion of Christ (His death for the sins of the world) and the Present ministry of Christ (His work of mediation and intercession on behalf of God’s people). This is a phenomenal book! The truth is: my fascination and love of this book is simply because of its emphasis on the Lord Jesus Christ.
It does us good to frequently Consider Him. For the child of God there is nothing more thrilling, nothing more encouraging or enabling as a fresh look at the Son of God. Thoro Harris expressed it beautifully in his hymn in which he wrote:
Who can cheer the heart like Jesus
By His presence all divine
True and tender, pure and precious
O, how blest to call Him mine
All that thrills my soul is Jesus
He is more than life to me
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see
In Hebrews chapter 12, we are called upon to Consider Him. The word translated ‘consider’ is the source from which we get the English word “analyse” and it means to examine in detail, to study thoroughly, to observe with precision. It is more than a passing glance or an after thought. It is the focal point of our attention. And this must be our attitude when we think of Christ.
He is the source of all Joy
Embodiment of all Comfort
The fountain of Truth
The expression of Grace
This is Jesus – the one and only and we are called upon in Hebrews chapter 12 to Consider Him. We are called upon to focus our thoughts upon Him, to cast our gaze upon Him –Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. This morning, that is exactly what I want us to do. You see our attitude towards the Lord Jesus has a direct effect on our effectiveness in living for Him. The Overcoming Christian, the one who lives in victory, does so by maintaining the right attitude towards Christ. The child of God who lives his life in consideration of Him, lives his life with the joy and contentment of knowing he is pleasing God.
In these few verses we see three immediate areas that are impacted when we Consider Him.
Consider Him in:
1. Running the Race verse 1
What race is Paul talking about? Life is lived in the lanes of one of two races. The first race is commonly known as the Rat Race. This race is defined by the Oxford dictionary as: “a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power.” In this race the runners are only concerned with themselves. They want their ‘slice of the pie’ and they will do anything to get it. By hook or by crook, they will endeavour to succeed. No sacrifice is too large, no friendship too dear and no price too high –they are addicted to the potential of power and wealth.
The other race is the Faith Race. It is the Christian life. It is run not by emphasising self, but emptying oneself. It is all about obedience and submission to the will of God. Its motto is “We should obey God rather than Men” and its anthem is “Consider Him”. The Christian runs this race not with the attitude of endeavouring to succeed but instead, we run endeavouring to persevere. We want to finish our course. We want to cross the finish line and hear our Heavenly Father say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
The problem for many Christians is that we often switch tracks mid week and sometimes multiple times in the day. We run the Faith Race on Sunday and come Monday morning we are in the Rat Race. Sometimes we try not run in either of them! We would rather stand on the sidelines and cheer others on. But verse 1 says the stands are already full. You place is to run. Which race are you running?