- Does thinking about the word Marathon already tire you out?

- Do you think you could have run 26+ miles in your teens, 20s, 30s or 40s?
- Can you imagine there are running competitions even longer than the Marathon?
- Do you have similar “Marathon” experiences in your personal life?


- What would you consider as a great experience of “suffering”?


The Marathon is a very popular event.  Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam,
Paris, and many other cities sponsor yearly Marathon competitions. reminds us that “The marathon is a long-distance running event of
42.195 km (26 miles 385 yards).”

The Boston Athletic Association sponsors the “famous” Boston Marathon.

2007 was the 111th running of the event.  2007 winner Robert K Cheruiyot of Kenya.


Robert Cheruiyot                     


History:   The First Boston Marathon:
After experiencing the spirit and majesty of the Olympic Marathon, B.A.A. member and
inaugural US Olympic Team Manager John Graham was inspired to organize and
conduct a marathon in the Boston area. With the assistance of Boston businessman
Herbert H. Holton, various routes were considered, before a measured distance of 24.5
miles from the Irvington Oval in Boston to Metcalf's Mill in Ashland was eventually
selected. On April 19, 1897, John J. McDermott of New York, emerged from a 15-
member starting field and captured the first B.A.A. Marathon in 2:55:10, and, in the
process, forever secured his name in sports history.    




Let’s see what Scripture tells us about a “Marathon” of different sources:


1 Corinthians 9:23-25 (NIV):

23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in
       such a way as to get the prize.

 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a
       crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:23-25:

He did all this, with care and diligence, in view of an unfading crown.

The apostle compares himself to the racers and combatants in the Isthmian games, well
known by the Corinthians. But in the Christian race all may run so as to obtain. There is
the greatest encouragement, therefore, to persevere with all our strength, in this course.
Those who ran in these games were kept to a spare diet. They used themselves to
hardships. They practised the exercises. And those who pursue the interests of their souls,
must combat hard with fleshly lusts. The body must not be suffered to rule. The apostle
presses this advice on the Corinthians. He sets before himself and them the danger of
yielding to fleshly desires, pampering the body, and its lusts and appetites. Holy fear of
himself was needed to keep an apostle faithful: how much more is it needful for our
preservation! Let us learn from hence humility and caution, and to watch against dangers
which surround us while in the body.

Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:23-25:

24. Know ye not--The Isthmian games, in which the foot race was a leading one, were of
course well known, and a subject of patriotic pride to the Corinthians, who lived in the
immediate neighborhood. These periodical games were to the Greeks rather a passion
than a mere amusement: hence their suitableness as an image of Christian earnestness.
in a race--Greek, "in a race course."
all . . . one--Although we knew that one alone could be saved, still it Would be well
worth our while to run [BENGEL]. Even in the Christian race not "all" who enter on the
race win (1 Corinthians 10:1-5).
So run, that ye may obtain--said parenthetically. These are the words in which the
instructors of the young in the exercise schools (gymnasia) and the spectators on the race
course exhorted their pupils to stimulate them to put forth all exertions. The gymnasium
was a prominent feature in every Greek city. Every candidate had to take an oath that he
had been ten months in training, and that he would violate none of the regulations
(2 Timothy 2:5; compare 1 Timothy 4:7,8). He lived on a strict self-denying diet,
refraining from wine and pleasant foods, and enduring cold and heat and most laborious
discipline. The "prize" awarded by the judge or umpire was a chaplet of green leaves; at
the Isthmus, those of the indigenous pine, for which parsley leaves were temporarily
substituted (1 Corinthians 9:25). The Greek for "obtain" is fully obtain. It is in vain to begin,

unless we persevere to the end (Matthew 10:22, 24:13, Revelation 2:10). The "so"
expresses, Run with such perseverance in the heavenly course, as "all" the runners
exhibit in the earthly "race" just spoken of: to the end that ye may attain the prize.

Galatians 2:1-3 (NIV):

1 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus
      along also.
2 I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among
     the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I
     was running or had run my race in vain.
3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though
    he was a Greek.


Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV):             God Disciplines His Sons

 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off
     everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with
      perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set
    before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the
     throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow
     weary and lose heart.


Question:  Why did Jesus suffer on the cross for us?




The following websites were referenced on May 03, 2007.  


Other resources related to this topic:  


Marathon related websites: