Hebrews 12:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 12:2, NIV: fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2, ESV: looking to 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, KJV: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2, NASB: looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the 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.

Hebrews 12:2, NLT: We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne.

Hebrews 12:2, CSB: keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What does Hebrews 12:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As with other segments of the book of Hebrews, this verse is often quoted out of context, causing it to lose much of its impact. Recognizing how this verse caps off a crucial passage in the book of Hebrews is key to applying it in the way God intended.

The end of chapter 11 rolled many different examples together. The writer mentioned many "heroes" of the faith, as well as their accomplishments. This was in the context of explaining how God honors and works through true, godly faith—which is a trust sufficient to produce obedience, despite our doubts and fears (Hebrews 11:1–3). The writer also mentioned how these faithful ones endured hardships during their earthly lives, and even now are waiting to see God completely fulfill His promises (Hebrews 11:35–39). That delay is for our sake—so that those of us hearing the gospel now will have an opportunity for that same reward (Hebrews 11:40).

The prior verse gave the logical application of this knowledge. With all we have been given as proof—"so great a cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1)—we ought to make every effort to "hold fast" (Hebrews 3:6; 10:23), setting aside sin and selfishness as we pursue whatever path God has placed in front of us. This is the essence of godly faith: to trust God with our future, despite how hard it might be in the present (Philippians 4:12–13).

Here, we see how Jesus again serves as the ultimate example of this. Christ also suffered hardship and persecution (Philippians 2:8-11), as well as temptation (Hebrews 4:15), but never wavered in His resolve to do the will of God the Father (Hebrews 5:8). Christ's entire ministry and the superiority of the new covenant (Hebrews 10:12–14) are grounded in His example, which we should strive to follow (Hebrews 2:10–11). His willingness to endure those trials came from an understanding that God could, and would, "work together for good" all of those things (Romans 8:28). The end goal of Jesus' obedience was to establish the purpose we should be striving for: the "city with foundations" (Hebrews 11:10), our ultimate victory and reward in God (Hebrews 11:13–16; Revelation 21:1–14).