Updated: Apr 29
One of the unusual statements of Jesus is found in His Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:41 Jesus says: “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two”. Governmental authorities in that day had the right to impress citizens in carrying out the business of the state. A herald on official business whose horse came up lame could use yours. A soldier could impress you to carry a burden for a certain distance. It was the law. Jesus was referring to this practice, then He added a spiritual teaching to it. He said that if you are compelled to go a mile, be willing to go two.
Jesus was instructing His followers to be second-mile Christians. He calls us to do more than the bare minimum. In carrying out our duties and responsibilities in life we are to determine that we will do our best. This should not just be seen in our duty to the government but also in our jobs. We need to do more than just what is expected of us. Christ followers should exceed expectations in the quality and attitude of our labor. We do this, not for the money or promotion but because we serve a different boss, Jesus Christ. Second-mile Christians should also exceed expectations in our love. We love our family and friends, but Jesus calls us to expand the circle of our love to our neighbors and even those we do not like. Finally, I believe we need to be second-mile Christians when it comes to our service for our Lord. He certainly deserves more than the bare minimum of our love, our loyalty, and our faithful service. After all He was the One who told us that: “…If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24).
The rest of the world may skate by with just doing the bare minimum in life, but not us. Jesus calls all who follow Him to be second-mile Christians.