The Lord’s Discipline
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,1 we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 12:2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.2 12:3 Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed3 in your struggle against sin. 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons?
“My son, do not scorn4 the Lord’s discipline
or give up when he corrects5 you.
12:6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.”6
12:7 Endure your suffering7 as discipline;8 God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 12:8 But if you do not experience discipline,9 something all sons10 have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. 12:9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from11 our earthly fathers12 and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life?13 12:10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. 12:11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful.14 But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness15 for those trained by it. 12:12 Therefore, strengthen16 your listless hands and your weak knees,17 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet,18 so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.
Do Not Reject God’s Warning
12:14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness,19 for without it no one will see the Lord. 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no one be like a bitter root springing up20 and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled. 12:16 And see to it that no one becomes21 an immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.22 12:17 For you know that23 later when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance, although he sought the blessing24 with tears. 12:18 For you have not come to something that can be touched,25 to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind 12:19 and the blast of a trumpet and a voice uttering words26 such that those who heard begged to hear no more.27 12:20 For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.”28 12:21 In fact, the scene29 was so terrifying that Moses said, “I shudder with fear.”30 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, the city31 of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly 12:23 and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator32 of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does.33
12:25 Take care not to refuse the one who is speaking! For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less shall we, if we reject the one who warns from heaven? 12:26 Then his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven too.”34 12:27 Now this phrase “once more” indicates the removal of what is shaken, that is, of created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. 12:28 So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe. 12:29 For our God is indeed a devouring fire.35