Looking unto Jesus - · Looking off and on, or from and to; looking off or from the world and all secular concerns to Jesus and all the spiritual and heavenly things connected with him. This is still an allusion to the Grecian games: those who ran were to keep their eyes fixed on the mark of the prize; they must keep the goal in view. The exhortation implies,
1.That they should place all their hope and confidence in Christ, as their sole helper in this race of faith.
2.That they should consider him their leader in this contest and imitate his example.
The author and finisher of - faith - , translated here author, signifies, in general, captain or leader, or the first inventor of a thing; see Hebrews 2:10. But the reference seems to be here to the , or judge in the games, whose business it was to admit the contenders, and to give the prize to the conqueror. Jesus is here represented as this officer; every Christian is a contender in this race of life, and for eternal life. The heavenly course is begun under Jesus; and under him it is completed. He is the finisher, by awarding the prize to them that are faithful unto death. Thus he is the author or the judge under whom, and by whose permission and direction, according to the rules of the heavenly race, they are permitted to enter the lists, and commence the race, and he is the finisher, , the perfecter, by awarding and giving the prize which consummates the combatants at the end of the race.
Who, for the joy that was set before him - The joy of fulfilling the will of the Father, Psalms 40:6-8, etc., in tasting death for every man; and having endured the cross and despised the shame of this ignominious death, He is set down at the right hand of God, ever appearing in the presence of God for us, and continuing his exhibition of himself as our Sacrifice, and his intercession as our Mediator. See the notes on Hebrews 10:5, etc. There are different other explanations given of this clause, but I think that here offered is the most natural. It never can, in any sense, be said of Jesus that he endured the cross, etc., in the prospect of gaining an everlasting glory; when he had the fullness of that glory with the Father before the world began; John 17:5.
Other Adam Clarke entries containing Hebrews 12:2:
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