1. With so many witnesses in a great cloud all around us, we too, then, should throw off everything that weighs us down and the sin that clings so closely, and with perseverance keep running in the race which lies ahead of us.
2. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which lay ahead of him, he endured the cross, disregarding the shame of it, and has taken his seat at the right of God's throne.
3. Think of the way he persevered against such opposition from sinners and then you will not lose heart and come to grief.
4. In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of bloodshed.
5. Have you forgotten that encouraging text in which you are addressed as sons? My son, do not scorn correction from the Lord, do not resent his training,
6. for the Lord trains those he loves, and chastises every son he accepts.
7. Perseverance is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him?
8. If you were not getting this training, as all of you are, then you would be not sons but bastards.
9. Besides, we have all had our human fathers who punished us, and we respected them for it; all the more readily ought we to submit to the Father of spirits, and so earn life.
10. Our human fathers were training us for a short life and according to their own lights; but he does it all for our own good, so that we may share his own holiness.
11. Of course, any discipline is at the time a matter for grief, not joy; but later, in those who have undergone it, it bears fruit in peace and uprightness.
12. So steady all weary hands and trembling knees
13. and make your crooked paths straight; then the injured limb will not be maimed, it will get better instead.
14. Seek peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord.
15. Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a large number.
16. And be careful that there is no immoral person, or anyone worldly minded like Esau, who sold his birthright for one single meal.
17. As you know, when he wanted to obtain the blessing afterwards, he was rejected and, though he pleaded for it with tears, he could find no way of reversing the decision.
18. What you have come to is nothing known to the senses: not a blazing fire, or gloom or total darkness, or a storm;
19. or trumpet-blast or the sound of a voice speaking which made everyone that heard it beg that no more should be said to them.
20. They could not bear the order that was given: If even a beast touches the mountain, it must be stoned.
21. The whole scene was so terrible that Moses said, 'I am afraid and trembling.'
22. But what you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival,
23. with the whole Church of first-born sons, enrolled as citizens of heaven. You have come to God himself, the supreme Judge, and to the spirits of the upright who have been made perfect;
24. and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to purifying blood which pleads more insistently than Abel's.
25. Make sure that you never refuse to listen when he speaks. If the people who on earth refused to listen to a warning could not escape their punishment, how shall we possibly escape if we turn away from a voice that warns us from heaven?
26. That time his voice made the earth shake, but now he has given us this promise: I am going to shake the earth once more and not only the earth but heaven as well.
27. The words once more indicate the removal of what is shaken, since these are created things, so that what is not shaken remains.
28. We have been given possession of an unshakeable kingdom. Let us therefore be grateful and use our gratitude to worship God in the way that pleases him, in reverence and fear.
29. For our God is a consuming fire.