2a Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
In the previous verse, we were exhorted: “let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (v. 1). Now we are told the secret of running our Christian race well — “Looking unto Jesus”. The Greek word for “looking” (aphorá?) literally means looking away from one thing to some other thing in a steadfast or intent manner. It has been used to denote the fixing of the mind upon something. It expresses the mental posture that all Christians should maintain in relation to Jesus, as they run their Christian race. It should be a holy habit of our souls to keep the Lord Jesus in our view.
Looking at Jesus at the beginning of the race and then totally keeping him out of view, is not the right kind of faith that Scripture teaches us. We should never lose focus of Christ in our Christian race. The reality is, some of the people who started the race with us may drop out of the race altogether while some others may be distracted and refuse to keep up, thus leaving us disappointed and troubled. But we must not let our minds be affected by their quitting. We must look away and fix our thoughts upon Christ. Even if all around us are a constant encouragement to us in our Christian race, it could well be our own lethargy and lust that hinder our race. Only when our minds are steadfastly fixed on Christ can we then overcome all distractions and obstacles, and complete our Christian race.
We look away from all else to Jesus only, for He is “the author and finisher of our faith”. The Greek word for “author” was translated earlier as “captain” in chapter 2, verse 10. There it was said of Christ, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Christ has set the path and He calls us to follow Him. It is Him, not the crowd, that we follow. The course of our race is shown by Him. He leads and we follow. He is our Guide, Strength and Motivation in our Christian race.
Jesus, the author of our faith, has entered the heavenly sanctuary as our forerunner (6:19-20) and has opened “a new and living way” for us that leads to this sanctuary (10:20). He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:17; 21:6; 22:13). He is our perfect Saviour and Captain who is able to perfect all who have placed their trust in Him.