The Expository Files

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Hebrews 12:1-2

Living a life of faith calls for dedication. There is a cost to pay. Many doubt that it is worth it - but we believe it is.

In Hebrews 12:1,2 we read that there is a "great cloud of witnesses" who all affirm that the goal is indeed worth running the race with endurance. We are also reminded that Jesus, the Savior, has already done so. When things got tough, He would think of the goal at the end.

The "great cloud of witnesses" referred to are those listed in the previous chapter - Heb. 11. There we read that "by faith Abel offered"; "by faith Noah prepared"; "Abraham obeyed"; "Moses chose"; and many others including Sarah, Gideon, David, Samuel and Rahab.

Notice something here: faith is not just passive intellectual acceptance of Christ. The faith that saves is the faith that obeys. The Hebrew writer, speaking of Christ, says, "And having been made perfect (or complete), He became to all those that obey Him the source of eternal life." (Heb 5:9).

These witnesses speak to us through the centuries by their deeds as well as their words that they were looking for a city "whose architect and builder is God." Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

By Jon W. Quinn
Final Page
From Expository Files 10.6; June  2003