Saturday Sermon: Looking unto Jesus
By Shan Jackson
Jan. 20, 2012 at midnight
Updated Jan. 19, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.
Looking unto Jesus is a phrase that is found in Hebrews 12:2.
It is introduced by the fact that we have a journey laid out before us. This journey is often referred to as our life.
For clarity, the writer uses the analogy of a race, saying, "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith."
Here, the Hebrew penman establishes the truth that faith is essentially important to our lives as Christians.
In the previous chapter (Hebrews 11), he had listed the strength of faith in so many: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and others, and their lives serve as a testimony to faith, and should inspire us to try to achieve the same fervor in our faith as they did.
We accomplish this faith by considering the world in its proper prospective.
The Hebrews 12 passage also says, "Let us lay aside every weight ... which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."
Some versions render it as, "let us strip off the burdens that so readily slow us down."
Admittedly, unless we see life in its proper prospective - we can become entangled with the affairs of the world.
These weights or burdens are things that may not be sin in and of themselves - but they can get in the way of our service to the Lord.
Many things which are allowed by God, can be abused. So let us remove anything that gets in the way of serving him.
How do we do this? By "looking unto Jesus ...."
Another way of relating to this truth is to focus upon our goal. Jesus should be the ultimate goal for each of us.
We are commanded to be like him in life and example. We should be like him in the fact that we have concern for souls and are always willing to help them find salvation.
While he died for their sins, as well as ours, we should always be eager to show people how to find the truth of God's word as spoken by Jesus.
When we have our focus upon the right goal, it is easier to not stray.
Like on a race track, there are lines or lanes in which each runner must run. If we cross the line, we are disqualified. We must fix our eyes and goal upon Jesus.
We can win the race, and the prize that goes along with it. The crown of life is waiting for those who will run the race with endurance, which suggests a long distance race as opposed to a sprint.
If we are in this race for the long haul, we had better keep our focus, and our focus must be on the one who died to secure our salvation.
Have you fixed your eyes upon Jesus?
Shan Jackson is the pastor of Port Lavaca Church of Christ