Hebrews 12:12-28



Therefore” – “dio” – the conclusion of the discussion of discipline and hardships

strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees” is from Isaiah 35:3 where the readers are being encouraged to be strong because the Lord is coming with blessing and judgment:

  1. arms are for doing – an allusion to doing the work of God or your “ministry”
  2. knees are for walking – a image of walking in the right way


It is no good to be encouraged in what the Lord is going to do if you are going to continue to walk in the crooked, stony path of human sin.  So make your path level.



Make level paths for your feet” is from Proverbs 4:26 and is in the context of Wisdom speaking to a young man telling him to:

  1. Pay attention to Wisdom’s words
  2. Guard your heart
  3. Do not talk perverse or corrupt
  4. Look straight ahead and fix your gaze
  5. Make level paths and take firm ways
  6. Do not swerve to the right or left
  7. Keep your foot from evil.


so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed

  1. lame” are the sin sick humans
  2. disabled” are humans overcome with sin unable to do with their “arms” or walk with strong “knees”
  3. healed” are the sin sick humans who have been redeemed and empowered and are not stumbling in the crook path or a life littered with sin and opportunity for sin.


What are some examples of a straight path?  The next verses list some of the stones that need to be removed from life’s path if you are going to enjoy the promises of God.



make every effort” is a translation of the present imperfect active of diwkw or “dioko” and means “to hunt to follow after, to pursue”.  It is an aggressive word. 

We are to hunt down peace with men and holiness with God.


  1. live in peace with all men
    1. Not peace at any price because the next thing is “to be holy”
    2. Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
    3. Romans 12 – 13 give some good information concerning how to make level paths for your life.
  2. to be holy


“”without holiness no one will see the Lord” explains why God has always wanted us to be holy.  God wants us to see him, to understand his ways, to be able to perceive life and all that is involved in it from the divine perspective.  If you can see God then you will be able to see God’s position and his divine view of reality.  Until we see or understand we live by faith in his revealed word.



See to it” is “episkopew” or “episkopeo”  We get our word “Episcopal” from it.  The word here means “to watch over, to watch out for.  The word is used in Greek papyri in closing of letters and refers to people with official capacity to exercise some kind of authority.  Here it may be addressed to the leaders of the Christian community who have let their responsibility slip as their faith has declined.  It at least speaks to us each individually as being responsible for our own selves.


no one misses the grace of God” The verb tense is present tense which carries the meaning of “continuing to miss the grace of God.”


“no bitter root grows up” from Dt. 29:17-19 in reference to bringing idol worship and apostasy into the community.  The idea is anything that has roots and can cause trouble or defilement.

  1. “to cause trouble”
  2. “defile many” – In Titus 1:15 it refers to unbeliever’s minds/consciences that have been corrupted.


No one is sexually immoral”.  “sexually immoral” is the word “pornos” often translated “fornicator”.


No one “is godless” – Esau lacked any sense of spiritual values.  Nor did he demonstrate restraint and clear thinking when he traded his birth right.


Esau sold his inheritance for a single meal.

The way it is written Esau may be an example only of godlessness or of both godlessness and sexual immorality.  The OT nor most Jewish writing give us any example of Esau being sexually immoral but he was clearly godless in his decisions. (The Palestinian Targum says Esau came home exhausted that day because he had committed five transgressions in one day including adultery with a betrothed maiden.”




The selling of the inheritance disqualified him for the blessing.


It was not changeable.  Esau cried to have it changed but it could not be done.

On the Day of Judgment and even in life things are irreversible.




Some Things That Make the Path Level for All Believers



“live at peace with all men”



“be holy”



“no one misses the grace of God”



“no bitter root grows up”

  1. “trouble”
  2. “defile many”

Not Bitter


“no one is sexually immoral”

Not Sexually


“no one is godless”

Not Godless


“do not refuse him who speaks”

God’s Word


12:18 -24

The earthly mountain you have not come to (Exodus 19:10-23; Dt.4:7-20):

  1. It can be touched, a physical location
  2. It is burning with fire
  3. Darkness
  4. Gloom
  5. Storm
  6. Trumpet Blast
  7. A voice that people begged not to hear any more words spoken
  8. The command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.”


The heavenly mountain you have come to:

  1. Mt. Zion
  2. The Heavenly Jerusalem
  3. The City of the Living God
  4. 1,000’s of angels assembled
  5. The church (assembly) of the firstborn
  6. Those with names written (citizenship) in heaven (a city)
  7. The abode of God
  8. The abode of the judge of all men from all time
  9. The home of righteous (on earth) made perfect (in eternity)
  10.  The home of Jesus the mediator between the Judge and men
  11.  The New Covenant (new nature, personal relationship, removal of sin and judgment, Heb.8:10-13; Jer. 31:31-34)
  12. The sprinkled blood that speaks of peace, not vengeance like Able’s



Israel refused to hear the spoken word and the one who spoke at Sinai. (Mt. Sinai)

The church can not refuse this word nor its speaker (Mt. Zion)



The earth and the mountain shook in response to the Lord’s spoken word in Exodus.

Haggai 2:6, 21





“once more” means for the final time and results in the removing of all temporary things.

Only the eternal will remain.


  • Haggai 2:6, 21
  • Isaiah 2:19
  • Isaiah 13:13
  • Job 38:13 “take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it.”

Earth Passing Away:

  • Heb. 1:11
  • Ps. 102:26
  • Rev. 20:11
  • Rev.21:1
  • Gen. 8:22
  • Job 14:12
  • 2 Peter 3:8-13