Last Updated on :
The Analogy of
The Grecian Games In The Word
By J.B. Scaramastro
Bringing all of the above information together we find that Jesus has blazed a path "The author," "The pioneer and the perfection of faith" (Moffatt), "the Pioneer and Perfector of our faith" (New International Version; R. S. V.) for all to follow. He has shown the way for us to develop a stedfast faith. In fact, our faith springs from him (the originator) the one through whom and on whom are faith stands for he is the chief corner stone (Ps. 118:22; Is. 28:16; Matt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10; Lk. 20:17; Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:26; 1 Pet. 2:6-7) and the headstone (Zec. 4:7) of the Deity's plan of salvation and His new creation (Is. 65:17-18; Eph. 2:10; 4:24; Col. 3:10; Rev. 3:14) the new Jerusalem ( Gal. 4:26,27; Heb.12:22; Rev. 3:12; 21:1-27). It is in him that our faith is brought to perfection or completion. (Eph. 3:19; 4:13; Col. 1:28; 4:12.) He has successfully started and finished the race and, therefore, can make it possible for all others to start and finish the race in like fashion. (Ps. 20:1-4; 27:14; 31:19-24; 138:3; Is. 41:10; John 15:4-7; Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 3:4,5; Eph. 3:14-21; Phil. 2:13; 4:11-13; Col. 1:9-14; 1 Pet.5:10; 1John 5:4,5.) Though the worthies of old were examples of faithful men their faith rested in the Deity and what he accomplished in His son, therefore, Jesus is the supreme example of faith as well as the leader, captain, Inaugrator, or Princely-leader of the faith for all who wish to be successful spiritual athletes. He is the "alpha and omega," the beginning and the ending and the first and the last (Rev. 1:8,11,17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13.) of the Deity's plan and purpose with man. The Deity was manifested morally and now physically in Jesus and through him will be manifested in a multitude. Thus, Jesus is the beginning and incipient fulfillment of the Yahweh name or the alpha manifestation, and Jesus as the head along with the glorified saints the omega manifestation or Yahweh manifested in a multitude of mighty ones. (See 1John 3:1; Rom. 8:19 and compare Is. 44:6 with 41:4. In the former, the word "last" is in the singular -- referring to the Lord Jesus personally; in the latter, it is in the plural -- referring to him in a multitudinous sense ..." Mansfield, H. P.. The Apocalypse Epitomised. page 31.) Thus Jesus is in the captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10.), the prince of life (Acts 3:15.) and a prince and a savior (Acts 5:31.) unto all who would be a spiritual athlete or agonist. If you want to know what it takes to be a victorious spiritual athlete, then look at him. If you want to know how to train for the race for life, then look at him. If you want to know how to run the race, then look at him. If you want to clearly understand the laws governing the race, then look at him. If you want to understand what the winning the race and obtaining the prize really means, then look at him.
Just as the Judge officially entered the contestants and officially gives out the prize at the end of the race, even so Jesus as the Lord, the righteous Judge officially enters the contestants through the call of the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14.) and will be there at the end of the race to give the prize. (2 Tim. 4:7-8.) Thus realizing he has been through it all and is now ready to help wherever possible becomes a great source of encouragement unto all.
Seventhly, Paul, as herald, encourages all spiritual athletes by letting them know the key of Jesus' success, who was the only one to render absolutely perfect obedience to the Father, as well as, demonstrating an absolute faith in his Father and in his word and will. He states in Hebrews 12:2 the following: "... who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, ...." Let us consider carefully this key to Jesus' and our success.
The word for "joy" is, "CHARA, delight, joy. gladness ..." Bullinger page 426. It occurs in the following New Testament passages:
The word for "that was set before" is the same as that translated "that is set before in Heb.12:1. See page -- for discussion of this term. Jesus had such a complete picture of the joy that awaited him from his understanding of the word he was enabled to endure or maintain is ground under very terrible circumstances. (The word translated "endured" in verse 2 is discussed on page -- through--.) As is aptly pointed out by the wise man Solomon in Prov. 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish ..." and by Hosea 4:10, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ..." and by Paul in Rom. 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." This was the key to Jesus' success. He had studied his Father's word constantly so that he knew, understood and clearly pictured everything contained therein perfectly. Thus he bears the title of "the word was made flesh." (John 1:14). As a result of this his faith was invincible and his determination to do the will of his Father unconquerable. No one and nothing could stop him or make him give ground in this agonizing contest for the stephanos of life. (See Rom. 8:35-39.) Thus, if we want to be successful we must follow in his footsteps (1 Pet. 2:20-24) and develop a real mental picture of the joys of the kingdom. Consider the following passages relative to this topic: 1 Cor. 2:9,10; 2 Cor. 4:14-18; Rom. 8:18-23; 1 Cor. 15:42-58; Phil. 3:20-21; ! Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Matt. 16:27; Rom. 2:5-16; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10-13; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:1,7-8; Heb. 11:39,40; Col. 3:4; 1 Pet. 1:4; 2 Pet. 1:4,10-11; 1 John 2:15-17,28; 1 John 3:1-2; Jude 14,15,24; Rev. 2:7,11,17, 25-28; 3:4,5,11,12,21; 4:8-11; 5:8-14; 11:15-18; 14:11; 15:2-4; 17:14; 18:20; chapters 19-22. For a more detailed analysis of the kingom age see appendix B.
Consider the following quotation from Brother John Martin's Hebrews Study Notes page 126: "This was the secret of his victory. He was urged on to overcome all difficulties because he had a powerful incentive for so doing. Even the prophecies of the Old Testament which foretell the sufferings, also spoke of the glory that would follow (see Isa. 53:9-12, Psa. 22:17-31, Psa. 69:20-36, and compare Matt. 25:21. John 17:1)."
The word for "cross' is, "STAUROS, an upright pale or stake; that is a stake on which malefactors were nailed for execution or crucified, ..." Bullinger page 195. (For additional details see appendix C.) It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 10:38; Lk. 14:27 "cross" In order to be worthy of Jesus and to follow him as a true disciple we have to symbolically carry a cross even as Jesus literally and figuratively carried one. Jesus symbolically crucified the carnal mind or thinking of the flesh all his life and then literally was crucified or put to death his sin nature as a final act to declare the righteousness of God and what others must similarly do in a figure all their lives.
First, The word for "despising" is, "KATAPHRONEO, to think down upon or against any one; hence, to think slightly of, ..." Bullinger page 219. "... 1. look down on, despise, scorn, treat with contempt ... someone or something ... 2. care nothing for, disregard, be unafraid of ..." Arndt and Gingrich page 421. "... to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of ..." Grimm-Thayer page 338. "... (kata, down, phren, the mind)..." Vine's Vol. 1 page 301. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Second, the word for "shame' is, "AISCHUNE, the sense of disgrace, the feeling of shame which attends the performance of a dishonorable deed; a shame that may restrain a bad man, (AIDOS being the shame or inner grace that will restrain a good man.)..." Bullinger page 689. "... shame ... signifies (a) subjectively, the confusion of one who is ashamed of anything, a sense of shame, Luke 14:9; those things which shame conceals, 2 Cor.4:3; (b) objectively, ignominy, that which is visited on a person by the wicked, Heb.12:2; that which should arise from guilt, Phil. 3:19; (c) concretely, a thing to be ashamed of, Rev. 3:18; Jude 13, where the word is in the plural, literally, 'basenesses,' 'disgraces.' ..." Vine's vol. I page 78. Please note that the above listing of passages represents all the places where our term occurs. Also, note that in Heb. 12:2 "the shame" is literally "shame" for there is no definite article in the Greek.
Putting all of the above together we learn that Jesus held his ground even though being crucified, which was a most shameful and ignominious and painful (the words excruciate and excruciating and excruciation as descriptive of the most terrible pain come from crucifixion.) form of death, reserved only for the worse criminals, and thought little of or disdained or was unafraid of all the shame associated with it because of his clear vision and understanding of the joy which would be his at the right hand of the Father. Thus, if we want to be successful, we must follow his example. In the Grecian games, the athlete ran naked to allow himself absolute freedom of motion and lightness upon his feet. Even though this was embarrassing, or a cause of shame, he endured it, in fact, treated it lightly or as if it was nothing compared to what praise and glory would be his if he was successful. Likewise, we must strip off the garment of easily entangling sin and every weight which might hinder us so that we might be successful. This means that we must take up our cross daily, that is, crucify the carnal mind or sin-in-the-flesh ona daily basis, following Christ through all the trials of the race. It means we have to develop a God pleasing faith and a vivid picture of the reality of the joy of the kingdom age. It means that no matter what trials we are under, we must hold our ground and not give in. It means that no matter what friends, or relatives or enemies or employers might think of us or say about us or do to us we must care nothing for it so that we are not hindered in our race for aionian life. (See Appendix D on the topical statement based on the words of Jesus, "Follow Me." See notes on Matt. 5. See notes on Matt. 10:32-33.)
Consider Brother John Martin's statement on this verse in his Hebrews Study Notes on page 127: "... With crucifixion it was the custom to firstly strip the person naked to expose him to an open shame. To win the race for life Jesus was prepared to disregard this, and to take no notice of it. He was able to do this, because all his life he had exposed himself to shame for the sake of those he came to save. In urging them to train for the race for life, Paul chooses a word, "exercise thereby," which in its literal meaning is "to practise naked!" (v. 11)."
This last point that Brother John Martin alludes to is significant because just as the athlete got use to the shame asociated with running naked by exercising naked, even so we, if we constantly publicly and privately practise spiritual exercises (reading and studying and preaching and living by the Word of the Deity), will grow use to any feelings of shame we might have in being a spiritual athlete and treat it as nothing.
Eighty, Paul as herald points out what was the end result of Jesus' efforts and endurance, namely, "and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." The word for "and" is, "TE, a conjunction of annexation, annexing with implied relation or distinction, and, also, (annexing something added) (TE denotes an internal, co-equal relation; KAI an external relation.)" Bullinger page 50. Through the use of this conjunction Paul is demonstrating that there is an implied relationship between what has been said and what is about to be said. He says that the statement about to be said grows out of and is co-equal with the significance of the initial statement. In other words, he is indicating that the cross must come before the crown, and if it is successfully borne, the crown is guaranteed and must follow. These are tremendous words of encouragement with all who are struggling and agonizing in this present evil world. (See Acts 14:22).
The word for "is set down" is, "KATHIZO, transitive, to cause to sit, to seat; intransitive, to seat one's self, to sit down." Bullinger page 686. It occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 19:28 "shall sit ... shall sit" (intransitive) Jesus tells his apostles would occupy thrones of glory as co-rulers with him over Israel when he occupies the throne of his glory as the Son of Man.
Matt. 20:21 "may sit" (intransitive) The mother of Zebedee's children requests Jesus that he might allow James and John occupy privileged positions of authority sitting on his left and right hand hand in the kingdom.
Matt. 20:23 "to sit" (intransitive) Jesus points out to Zebedee's wife that such a request could not be granted by him but could be granted by his Father. Jesus points out that it would be given to whom his Father had prepared it.
Matt. 23:2 "sit" (intransitive) Jesus points out that the Pharisees and the scribes hold the position of authority when it came to the law. As he puts it, they occupied Moses' seat.
Matt. 25:31 "shall he sit" (intransitive) Jesus states that he as the Son of Man shall come in his glory and with all the holy angels with him and shall seat himself upon the throne of his glory. In other words, he will be the King.
Mk. 10:37 "may sit" (intransitive) Same as Matt. 20:31.
Mk. 10:40 "to sit" (intransitive) Same as Matt. 20:23.
Mk. 11:2,7; Lk. 19:30 "sat" (intransitive) The ass as a symbol represents Israel after the flesh. Here Jesus' sitting upon a colt which no man had ever rode indicates no man had ever broken it before but Jesus had complete control. Thus, Jesus has complete control over the flesh and would eventually bring Israel after the flesh under his control. Also, the colt was selected because though it is still an Israelitish hope (the ass) it would include gentiles. Thus another animal representing the new dispensation was ridden that was never ridden before - to Jew and to gentile - In Abraham, all nations would be blessed.
Mk. 16:19 "sat" (intransitive) Jesus sat on the right hand of God - a place of joy and glory.
Lk. 22:30 "sit" (intransitive) Similar to Matt. 19:28.
John 12:14 "sat" (intransitive) Similar to Mk. 11:2,7; Lk. 19:30.
John 19:13 "sat down" (intransitive) Pilate sat down in the judgment seat thus indicating that he was the one in whom the power and authority were vested for judgment.
Acts 2:30 "to sit" (transitive) Peter upon the Day of Pentecost refers to what David knew as a prophet about a descendant of his who would be raised up by the Deity to sit on his (David's) throne. Thus establishing Christ as King. The Deity caused him to sit on the throne - this was a work of the Deity.
Acts 12:21 "sat ... and" (intransitive) Herod, as king, the one in whom the power and authority was vested to rule over the people sat upon his throne. The sitting down upon that throne indicated the above.
Acts 25:6 "sitting" (intransitive) Festus sitting on the judgment seat demonstrated that it was he in whom the power and authority was vested to judge the people.
Acts 25:17 "sat" (intransitive) Festus telling Agrippa about Paul acknowledges what was said in the sixth verse.
Eph. 1:20 "set" (transitive) The Deity set Christ at his own right hand in the heavenlies, thus exalting him above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. Here we have the significance of being set at the right hand of the Deity.
2 Thess. 2:4 "sitteth" (intransitive) Paul declares the man of sin is sitting in the Temple of God. Thus indicating he is in a position of power and authority in regards to the Temple and those who are associated with it Jesus after manifesting the Father perfectly and having purged our sins through his sacrifice sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels.
Heb. 8:1 "is set" (intransitive) Jesus our High Priest is seated on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. Thus, the significance of this sitting on the right hand of throne of the Majesty is clearly that this is a position of power and authority given to him by the Deity and, therefore, we have a very powerful High Priest who is in constant communication with the Father: on his Father's right hand.
Heb. 10:12 "sat down" (intransitive) Jesus after he had offered one sacrifice for sins into perpetuity sat down on the right hand of God; a position of joy, glory, power, and authority.
Heb. 12:2 "is set down" (intransitive) Jesus endured the cross despising shame (In other words, he successfully accomplished the will of his Father.) and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Rev. 3:21 "to sit ... am set down" (intransitive) Christ affirms that whosoever overcometh will be granted to sit with him in his throne even as he has overcome and is set down with his Father in His throne. Thus , we will be granted joy, glory, authority and power as co-rulers with Christ in the kingdom.
Rev. 20:4 "set" (intransitive) The seats of Judgment reserved for the Redeemed (Dan. 7:9; Ps. 122:5; Rev. 4:4 [seats should be thrones]). The honor of judging the nations is reserved for the Redeemed. (See Ps. 149:9; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 2:26; 3:21).
The word for "the right hand" is, "DEXIOS, right, as opposed to left; Latin, dexter, on the right hand side." Bullinger page 647. It occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 20:21,23 "right hand" See notes on "is set down" on pages -- and --.
Matt. 22:44 "right hand" Quotation of Ps. 110:1. Indicating Jesus' position of privilege, exaltation, glory and power to which he was brought by Yahweh.
Matt. 25:33,34 "right hand" In the parable, the sheep are placed on the right hand and the goats on the left. The right hand is representative of acceptance, of life, of glory, of blessedness, and of a place in the kingdom.
Matt. 26:64 "right hand" Here Jesus tells Caiaphas that he would witness his power (the right hand of power) and his return with the angelic host when the responsible dead would be raised and along with the reponsible living be gathered to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Mark 10:37,40 "right hand" Same as Matt. 20:21,23.
Mark 12:36 "right hand" Same as Matt. 22:44.
Mark 14:62 "right hand" Same as Matt. 26:64.
Mark 16:19 "right hand" Jesus' ascension to glory, exaltation, power, privilege and joy at the right side of God.
Luke 20:42 "right hand" Same as Matt. 22:44.
Luke 22:69 "right hand" Same as Matt. 26:64.
Acts 2:33 "right hand" Jesus is stated to be exalted by God when Peter states, "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted ..."
All Books/Booklets, Editorials, and Articles are FREE and can be downloaded without permission.