CARTA A LOS HEBREOS. CAPITULO 12

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Capítulo 12

1 Por lo tanto, ya que estamos rodeados de una verdadera nube de testigos, despojémonos de todo lo que nos estorba, en especial del pecado, que siempre nos asedia, y corramos resueltamente al combate que se nos presenta.

2 Fijemos la mirada en el iniciador y consumador de nuestra fe, en Jesús, el cual, en lugar del gozo que se les ofrecía, soportó la cruz sin tener en cuenta la infamia, y ahora está sentado a la derecha del trono de Dios.

3 Piensen en aquel que sufrió semejante hostilidad por parte de los pecadores, y así no se dejarán abatir por el desaliento.

4 Después de todo, en la lucha contra el pecado, ustedes no han resistido todavía hasta derramar su sangre.

5 Ustedes se han olvidado de la exhortación que Dios les dirige como a hijos suyos: «Hijo mío, no desprecies la corrección del Señor, y cuando te reprenda, no te desalientes.

6 Porque el Señor corrige al que ama y castiga a todo aquel que recibe por hijo».

7 Si ustedes tienen que sufrir es para su corrección; porque Dios los trata como a hijos, y ¿hay algún hijo que no sea corregido por su padre?

8 Si Dios no los corrigiera, como lo hace con todos, ustedes serían bastardos y no hijos.

9 Después de todo, nuestros padres carnales nos corregían, y no por eso dejábamos de respetarlos. Con mayor razón, entonces, debemos someternos al Padre de nuestro espíritu, para poseer la Vida.

10 Porque nuestros padres sólo nos corrigen por un breve tiempo y de acuerdo con su criterio. Dios, en cambio, nos corrige para nuestro bien, a fin de comunicarnos su santidad.

11 Es verdad que toda corrección, en el momento de recibirla, es motivo de tristeza y no de alegría; pero más tarde, produce frutos de paz y de justicia en los que han sido adiestrados por ella.

12 Por eso, que recobren su vigor las manos que desfallecen y las rodillas que flaquean.

13 Y ustedes, avancen por un camino llano, para que el rengo no caiga, sino que se cure.

14 Busquen la paz con todos y la santificación, porque sin ella nadie verá al Señor.

15 Estén atentos para que nadie sea privado de la gracia de Dios, y para que no brote ninguna raíz venenosa capaz de perturbar y contaminar a la comunidad.

16 Que no haya ningún impúdico ni profanador, como Esaú, que vendió su derecho a la primogenitura por un plato de comida.

17 Recuerden que después, cuando quiso heredar la bendición de su padre fue rechazado, y por más que la imploró con lágrimas, no pudo obtener un cambio de decisión.

18 Ustedes, en efecto, no se han acercado a algo tangible: fuego ardiente, oscuridad, tinieblas, tempestad,

19 sonido de trompeta, y un estruendo tal de palabras, que aquellos que lo escuchaban no quisieron que se les siguiera hablando.

20 Porque no podrían soportar esta prescripción: Cualquiera que toque la montaña será apedreado, incluso los animales.

21 Este espectáculo era tan terrible, que Moisés exclamó: Estoy aterrado y tiemblo.

22 Ustedes, en cambio, se han acercado a la montaña de Sión, a la Ciudad del Dios viviente, a la Jerusalén celestial, a una multitud de ángeles, a una fiesta solemne,

23 a la asamblea de los primogénitos cuyos nombres están escritos en el cielo. Se han acercado a Dios, que es el Juez del universo, y a los espíritus de los justos que ya han llegado a la perfección,

24 a Jesús, el mediador de la Nueva Alianza, y a la sangre purificadora que habla más elocuentemente que la de Abel.

25 Tengan cuidado de no desoír al que habla. Porque si los que rehusaron escuchar al que promulgaba oráculos en la tierra, no pudieron escapar al castigo, ¿cómo podremos escapar nosotros si volvemos las espaldas al que habla desde el cielo?

26 Aquel que en esa ocasión hizo temblar la tierra con su voz, ahora nos ha hecho esta promesa: Una vez más haré temblar no sólo la tierra, sino también el cielo.

27 Estas palabras una vez más quieren decir que las cosas que se conmueven van a cambiar –porque son creadas– para que permanezcan las que son inconmovibles.

28 Así, habiendo recibido la posesión de un Reino inconmovible, aferrémonos a esta gracia, y con piedad y temor, tributemos a Dios un culto que le sea agradable,

29 porque nuestro Dios es un fuego devorador.

Chapter 12

1

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us 2 and persevere in running the race that lies before us

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while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.

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Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

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In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

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You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons: «My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him;

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for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.»

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Endure your trials as «discipline»; God treats you as sons. For what «son» is there whom his father does not discipline?

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If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards.

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Besides this, we have had our earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not (then) submit all the more to the Father of spirits and live?

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They disciplined us for a short time as seemed right to them, but he does so for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness.

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At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

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So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.

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Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

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Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

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3 See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled,

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that no one be an immoral or profane person like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

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For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit his father’s blessing, he was rejected because he found no opportunity to change his mind, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

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4 You have not approached that which could be touched 5 and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm

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and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them,

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for they could not bear to hear the command: «If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.»

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Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, «I am terrified and trembling.»

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No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering,

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and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, 6 and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect,

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and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently 7 than that of Abel.

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See that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much more in our case if we turn away from the one who warns from heaven.

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His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, «I will once more shake not only earth but heaven.»

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That phrase, «once more,» points to (the) removal of shaken, created things, so that what is unshaken may remain.

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Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe.

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For our God is a consuming fire.

 

 

1 [1-13] Christian life is to be inspired not only by the Old Testament men and women of faith ( Hebrews 12:1) but above all by Jesus. As the architect of Christian faith, he had himself to endure the cross before receiving the glory of his triumph ( Hebrews 12:2). Reflection on his sufferings should give his followers courage to continue the struggle, if necessary even to the shedding of blood ( Hebrews 12:3-4). Christians should regard their own sufferings as the affectionate correction of the Lord, who loves them as a father loves his children.

2 [1] That clings to us: the meaning is uncertain, since the Greek word euperistatos, translated cling, occurs only here. The papyrus P46 and one minuscule read euperispastos, «easily distracting,» which also makes good sense.

3 [15-17] Esau serves as an example in two ways: his profane attitude illustrates the danger of apostasy, and his inability to secure a blessing afterward illustrates the impossibility of repenting after falling away (see Hebrews 6:4-6).

4 [18-29] As a final appeal for adherence to Christian teaching, the two covenants, of Moses and of Christ, are compared. The Mosaic covenant, the author argues, is shown to have originated in fear of God and threats of divine punishment ( Hebrews 12:18-21). The covenant in Christ gives us direct access to God ( Hebrews 12:22), makes us members of the Christian community, God’s children, a sanctified people ( Hebrews 12:23), who have Jesus as mediator to speak for us ( Hebrews 12:24). Not to heed the voice of the risen Christ is a graver sin than the rejection of the word of Moses ( Hebrews 12:25-26). Though Christians fall away, God’s kingdom in Christ will remain and his justice will punish those guilty of deserting it ( Hebrews 12:28-29).

5 [18] This remarkably beautiful passage contrasts two great assemblies of people: that of the Israelites gathered at Mount Sinai for the sealing of the old covenant and the promulgation of the Mosaic law, and that of the followers of Jesus gathered at Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the assembly of the new covenant. This latter scene, marked by the presence of countless angels and of Jesus with his redeeming blood, is reminiscent of the celestial liturgies of the Book of Revelation.

6 [23] The assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven: this expression may refer to the angels of Hebrews 12:22, or to the heroes of the Old Testament (see Hebrews 11), or to the entire assembly of the new covenant.

7 [24] Speaks more eloquently: the blood of Abel, the first human blood to be shed, is contrasted with that of Jesus. Abel’s blood cried out from the earth for vengeance, but the blood of Jesus has opened the way for everyone, providing cleansing and access to God (Hebrews 10:19).