What Makes a Hero?

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TEXT: Hebrews 11:32-40; 12:1-2; 1 Peter 2:21

As we have studied during the past twelve weeks, we have considered the question: What makes a hero? The answer to that question depends, to a great extent, on who is asking the question. To a child, a hero would be someone entirely different from that of an adult. Similarly, a Christian’s criterion for designating a hero is dramatically different from that of a sinner’s. A person becomes a hero to someone else when a certain quality, ability, or attitude is admired so much that it would be imitated by the admirer.

During this course of study we have seen particular qualities exemplified by the lives of twelve of God’s faithful servants. These people can be considered heroes because all Christians desire the same qualities and attributes that their lives portrayed.

In considering these heroes, we should be challenged to ask ourselves the question: How can I have a greater measure of these Christian qualities? As we assimilate and grow in Christian graces we will be better able to do as the Apostle Paul commanded Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers . . .” (1 Timothy 4:12).


  1. In six words or less describe the Christian character quality that we admire for each of the following people:
    Elisabeth and Zacharias
    Joseph (earthly father of Jesus)
    John the Baptist
    Widow of Zarephath
    Woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment
  2. Must a person have a well-known name to qualify as a hero?
  3. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is known as “The roll call of the heroes of faith.” Note that verse 36 of our text begins with the words, “And others,” referring to some heroes who were not even named. What one quality was universal among all of these heroes?
  4. Explain the relationship between two phrases found in our text in Hebrews 12:1, “. . . we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses . . .” and “ . . . let us lay aside every weight. . . .”
  5. Who is the leading example, both in this quarter’s study and throughout the Bible? Explain.
  6. Using Psalm 1 as reference, explain why associating with the ungodly more than is necessary can be spiritually dangerous.
  7. What was the most important point you have learned during this quarter?
  8. After studying about several heroes this quarter and looking closely at their lives, read 2 Corinthians 3:2 and explain the responsibility of every Christian concerning the example they portray.