Hebrews 12:3-6

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Hebrews 12:3
  • Hebrews 12:4
  • Hebrews 12:5
  • Hebrews 12:6

Chapter 12 is a chapter of great encouragement and warning concerning the endurance and sanctification of the Hebrew Christians. The previous chapter made a compelling case that faith is what pleases God. When we remember the many examples of faithful people from the Old Testament, we should feel strengthened to live the rest of our lives with endurance. When we experience suffering for our faith, we should be encouraged by the mindset that God is using our suffering to teach us and to grow us up. Since we have these examples of faithful people, and of Christ, and since we know our identity is in Heaven where Christ mediates our New Covenant, we can live lives of acceptable service to God. Nothing should stop us from enduring and reaching spiritual maturity.

We should remember Christ’s example as one who suffered to the point of death, showing His perfect endurance till the end. This can encourage us, for we are called to mature as Sons of God, who receive parental discipline from our loving Father.

Again Paul reminds his readers of Christ’s suffering and concludes that we should be inspired by it. We are told to consider Christ and the hostility He experienced on earth. This should cause us to not grow weary and lose heart, but rather to remember how greatly Christ was rewarded for His suffering. He sits at the right hand of God, having inherited the earth to rule as King. Paul points out to the Hebrews that, although they have suffered in the past, they haven’t suffered to the point of shedding blood, meaning they had not been killed. The sufferings that come in a sinful world had not destroyed them. Christ endured, even to the point of death, and was rewarded; this should encourage the Hebrew readers.

Furthermore, the Hebrews have forgotten the exhortation given to them, the calling for Christians to become mature Sons, Inheritors of God. The exhortation is a quote from Proverbs 3:11-12, giving us the perspective that pain in this life is a way of God disciplining us, training us, correcting us, out of love, like a loving parent. God does not necessarily inflict bad circumstances on us, but He is always leading us through suffering. We can be shaped by suffering in negative ways and give up on our faith, which is what this entire letter is warning against. Or, we can look to God as One who loves us, someone training us and leading us through life so that we would become mature sons to Him, for which He will reward us. With this perspective, whatever difficulties we face, we will live faithfully to God and learn how to correctly respond to pain and hardship.

Biblical Text
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

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