Hebrews 12:2 NASB
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Looking unto Jesus.
It is not possible to express in English the thought suggested by the Greek verb aphorôntes, which implies that we must “look away (from other things) unto Jesus.” It implies “the concentration of the wandering gaze into a single direction.”
As in Hebrews 2:9, the description precedes the mention of the name, “Looking unto the Author and Perfecter of (our) faith, Jesus.”
The first word is very similar to that of Hebrews 11:26;
the runner looks away from all other objects and fixes his gaze on One.
Jesus is not directly spoken of as the Judge (2Timothy 4:8); but, as the next words show, He has Himself reached the goal, and His presence marks the point at which the race will close.
As the last verse spoke of our “patient endurance,” this speaks of our faith, and of Jesus being the Author and the Perfecter.
The word is the same (ἀρχηγὸν) as that used in Hebrews 2:10.
In Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31 it is rendered “a Prince,” as in Isaiah 30:4 (LXX.).
By His faithfulness (Hebrews 3:2) he became our captain and standard-bearer on the path of faith.
The former word has occurred before, in Hebrews 2:10; and here, as there, origination is the principal thought.
There the idea of leading the way was also present; but here “Author” stands in contrast with “Perfecter.”
And Perfecter (finisher)
He leads us to “the end of our faith,” which is the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:9).
The example of our Lord is the subject of the clause which follows.
Of our faith
Rather, “of faith.”
Because it is He who begins and brings to perfection our faith, we must run the race with our eye fixed upon Him:
▪︎ In Him is the beginning,
▪︎ In Him the completion of the promises (2 Corinthians 1:20);
▪︎ and in the steady and trustful dependence upon Him which this figure describes consists our faith.
Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.
The literal meaning is very forcible, endured a cross, despising shame; the shame of such a death being set over against the joy that lay before Him.
Here again we have the thought of Hebrews 2:9 (Philippians 2:9-10);
▪︎ The joy of His accomplished purpose (Isaiah 53:11; Matthew 25:21; Luke 10:21-22)
▪︎ And the glory with which He was crowned (John 17:1; 1 Peter 1:11)
▪︎ Being the reward for His “obedience even unto death.”
The whole form of the expression (comp. especially Hebrews 6:18, “the hope set before us”) shows that Jesus is presented to us as an example not of endurance only, but also of faith (Hebrews 2:12).
Endured the cross, despising the shame
Lit., “endured a cross, despising shame.”
Is set down
Rather, “has sat down” (Hebrews 1:3, 8:1, 10:12).
On the last words of the verse (see Hebrews 1:3,13, 8:1, 10:12-13); there is here a slight change in the Greek, which requires the rendering, “and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
We must always look towards Jesus.
He is the one who trusted God completely.
Our faith starts with him,
and he will help us to trust God all the way to the end.
Jesus accepted punishment on the cross.
He chose to receive much pain.
He did not think about being ashamed to die like that.
He knew that God had prepared something very good for him
that would make him happy.
Now he has sat down at the right side of God
to rule with Him in heaven.
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