Matthew 5:41 ” And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
The Roman law that came about a decade before Jesus was born said this, In any concord province a Roman Soldier can have any able-bodied man bear their burden 1 mile. It would be common to see a Roman have a Jewish man carry his load one mile. And so Jesus tells us today one mile is not enough, we also need to go the second mile. I wonder if a Roman soldier was to come into your house and tell you to carry his backpack full of bricks his next mile, how would we react. Some of you would gripe and complain the whole trip. Some of you would refuse to even go and probably get beaten down. And for you that would go most likely you would only go that one mile and not one inch not one step farther. The Jews had learned that they couldn’t fight it, there was no use, but they sure were not going to go further than they had to. So you can imagine the reaction when Jesus comes and tells them don’t just go the first mile but go the second. I’m sure they were like your kidding right? Does he really expect us to do more than the law requires? Has this become are mindset? We do what we have to do and no more. It sure is the world’s mindset, but Jesus is saying that his disciples need to do more than the legalistic Pharisees who do no more than what is required. We need to be 2nd mile Christians. The world is a one mile religion but Christianity needs to be a 2nd mile religion. That’s what separate us from everyone else. Anybody can go one mile but the only way to go the second mile is by self sacrificial love. Some how we keep going back to that subject. And that’s because it is so important to a Christians life. Some of you are thinking really, what’s this all about, you mean Christ wants us to go above and beyond what we are asked to do? And the answer is yes and until we experience this truth the true joy and happiness will not come. What do I mean by second mile Christianity? Let me tell you, to love one another is the first mile but to love ones enemy is the second mile. To do good to those who do you good is first mile Christianity but to do good to those who hate you is the second mile. To bless those who bless you is the first mile but to bless those who curse you is the second mile. Praying for those who pray for you is the first mile and praying for those who desperately use you is the second mile. The second mile is to swallow our pride and selfishness, it means to forgive quickly, it means to rise above the instinct to strike back, get even or settle the score. So often we want to be the one in charge, we want to be the roman soldier telling the Jew what to do. We want to be the one everyone else serves. But the truth of the matter is we should be a servant to all. The first mile is crowded but the second mile is less travelled. The first mile is congested the second mile is empty. The first mile is bumper to bumper the second mile is almost deserted. Yet Jesus requires us to live in the second mile. For too long we have done what is expected and no more but its time we go where few men have went, we don’t just read the truth of the word of God but we live by the truth of the Word of God. That’s the second mile. That’s where we must be. That’s what Christ expects. And if Christ expects it we must obey it. This is true spiritual freedom.
“Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more. They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more.” A. Lou Vickery