“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)
On the lighter side this morning, here is an actual transcript of a physician as a witness in a trial being questioned by an attorney:
Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? A: No. Q: Did you check for blood pressure? A: No. Q: Did you check for breathing? A: No. Q: So, then is it possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? A: No. Q: How can you be so sure Doctor? A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless? A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.
After this humorous story of a physician witness, I want to focus on what the writer of Hebrews means by being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
At first, it might seem that the writer is telling us that those who have gone before us are now witnessing our life from heaven. However, many commentators believe that instead of witnessing our actions, the writer means that our predecessors are witnesses to us…to show us the kind of life we should live.
While the saints that have gone before us are not witnessing our day-to-day activities, we should remember that we do have a very critical witness to everything we do…the Lord. There is not a thought we have, a word we speak, or an action we perform that is not witnessed directly by God.
Living our lives with the reality that God is witnessing everything helps us put a proper perspective on our lives. We can focus on things that will last into eternity instead of the things that are temporary. It should also help us maintain a sense of purpose when our actions and priorities are so very different from those who are focused on the world. Try living today in the knowledge that God is witnessing every thought, word and action.
Prayer: Lord, remind me of Your presence with me throughout today so that I can please you with my thoughts, words and actions.