In thirty-seven verses the Lord says, “The Law; Moses; ye say; ye have heard; or it hath been said, but I say unto you.” “Ye have heard that it hath been said, (old) An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, (new) That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Old) And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, (new) let him have thy cloke also. (Old) And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, (new) go with him twain (two)” (Matt. 5:38-41). The Jews practiced 613 laws (do/not do laws mostly about the Sabbath). Priests, lawyers, scribes, and Pharisees obeyed and enforced these laws but only did what was expected and no more (Matt. 23:23). They obeyed their laws but not the Lord. He now taught another new law of the second mile. The old law was that a Roman soldier could compel a Jew to carry his pack for one mile (5,280 feet/about 1,000 paces). This law caused resentment among the Jews toward Rome. You can visualize a Jew counting his steps until he makes that last 1,000th step but not one step farther. He does what is required then both go their separate ways without any positive reactions or relationship from their time together. Now the Lord says not only to go one expected mile but go an unexpected second mile. Why? “This” will greatly impress, impact, and influence others. Show hospitality as Aquila and Priscilla (1 Cor. 16:19). Hospitality is when you open your heart and not just your home. As traveling guests leave, hosts should not just walk a mile (old), but walk a second mile (new). Be a second miler. Your presence offers protection and comfort. A small act of kindness can mean a lot. A touch can mean much. There is a song, “Those little things mean a lot.” Nothing is as: touching as a tear, needed as a hug, rewarding as a kind deed, timely as a friend, appreciated as kindness, needed as love, tender as a touch. Special moments make special memories. What will you pass on when you pass on?
Go the second mile! Do a little more for others. “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). Let’s make ourselves “more” valuable as neighbors, employees, citizens and Christians. Let’s refresh others as Onesiphorus (2 Tim. 1:16). It is not about “me” but “thee.” Not ME but WE. Let’s make Christ known to others. “By this (love) shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
William Booth (Salvation Army), absence from the meeting, sent a one-word telegram:”Others.” God is only interested in people. Don’t love things, love people. People don’t care how much you know until they know that your care. Let’s do what is expected, then do what is unexpected. Go the second mile.
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