“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Most people have two kinds of manners: Private manners and company manners. When we’re by ourselves we’ll let certain things go that we won’t when other people are around, particularly people whom we are interested in impressing.
The author of Hebrews has just finished describing a whole crowd of people who lived the life of faithfulness in incredible ways. They endured remarkable hardships and sufferings and yet kept moving forward toward the vision God had set before them. Now, they weren’t perfect by any means. A quick perusal of their full stories in the pages of the Old Testament makes that abundantly clear. But they were faithful.
They were faithful in spite of not ever actually receiving the thing God had promised them. And this was not because God Himself wasn’t faithful, but rather because the promise wasn’t for them directly. It was for them to take part in so that, as the author noted, we can receive it in full.
What all this means is that we have a crowd of people who have gone before us who are all keenly interested in seeing us succeed in walking the path they blazed for us. In other words, we’re not ever walking alone. Company is always here and watching. We need to act like it. Petty sins that we might let go if no one was watching have no business being a part of our journey because there are folks watching.
Let us put aside the things that might otherwise slow us down, and run hard after the prize of Christ. The crowd is cheering us on and wants to see us win. Let’s perform to do so.