The men and women of faith ran the race of life, we run the race, and so did Jesus. While Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to be inspired by the “cloud of witnesses” (the example and faith of the old testament believers), Hebrews 12:2 tells us to “look” to Jesus.
“Looking” does not mean a quick look. It means to look away from all other things and to focus on Jesus. There are many things to distract us – good and bad things. If these other things become our focus, they get in the way of us running the race: good things can take our attention and our love away from Jesus; bad things discourage us.
This doesn’t mean that we are unaware of other things. Runners in a race are aware of the other runners, of the crowd, of the ground, of the weather, of their tiredness, of their breathing, but their focus is the prize.
This is what Hebrews 12:2 is telling us: focus on Jesus! Jesus Himself focused on the prize: “…Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).
For the Christian, Jesus IS the joy set before us. So we focus on Him, though praise and prayer, through meeting Him in His word, through thinking about Him and what He has done, through the Lord’s Supper, and through talking to each other when we fellowship together.
So, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus.