HEBREWS 12:12-17

Don’t be Like Esau (Let’s Run with Endurance)

October 23, 2016

Todd Chapman

Hebrews 12:12-17 ESV: [12] Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, [13] and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. [14] Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. [15] See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; [16] that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. [17] For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

The author continues to impress upon us the essential nature of our running the race of faith with endurance.

  • To run with endurance we must understand we are in a race…
  • To run with endurance we must be filled with strength, power and stamina…
  • To run with endurance we must understand what running looks like…
  • To run with endurance we must understand those who don’t endure will reap the consequences…

Life Group Questions:


1. How would you summarize 12:1-11?

2. In verse 12, what is the therefore transitioning?

3. What is the author referring to by using hands, knees, and feet? How does it relate to what has been said in earlier in the text?

4. Whose weak hands and knees are to be strengthened? Does it refer to our own or others’ around us?  What potentially needs to be “healed”?

5. What transition takes place in v14?

6. How does the author direct us to “pursue peace?” In v.11 doesn’t the author say peace flows from God’s work in our life?  Explain.

7. Who is the “everyone” and the “no one” of v 15?

8. What does it mean to “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God”?

9. What is the “root of bitterness”? How does it defile? How does it relate to sexual immorality and to Esau, which the author mentions in verses 16-17?

10. What does the “it” sought after by Esau relate to; his repentance or the blessing?

11. How would you paraphrase the big idea of 12:12-17?


1. What does this passage tell us about faith?

2. How do I determine whether I am in the race or not?

3. What are the obstacles to pursuing peace?  What do those obstacles say about my faith?

4. What are the elements of holiness behind the fruit we see?

5. How do you define the idea of pursuing holiness? 

6. How can we be committed to each other’s spiritual health and work towards squelching bitterness?

7. How do we dedicate ourselves to helping one another get rid of sins that tempt us to stop running