“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” (Matthew 5:41)
Today’s verse comes from one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible. I’m sure there are many over the course of time that would agree with me that the “Sermon on the Mount” is something they could read over and over and over again without ever getting tired of the Author’s message.
And, while I love reading Matthew 5-7, I also find I finish it with a great deal of introspection and end up wondering how Jesus ever came to love me because I fail at most of what He teaches us to do and be as Christians.
Namely in the verse that I am going to write about today.
Oh, you thought that because I am a missionary that I innately perform the “go with him twain”? Nope.
This Scripture is referring to a time in history when a person and their beast of burden could be seized in order to complete a task by the government. For example, if you were traveling from one city to another with your mule or camel, a carrier of messages or goods for the government could stop you and tell you that your animal was being seized (compelled) in order to carry something of theirs. And Jesus was teaching to not only do what they asked, but go an extra distance in order to help them. And I believe He meant it across the board. We should have a humble spirit guiding our actions. And, I believe we should help, even when it is at our own inconvenience.
This goes against every grain of my flesh. I am not kidding. I hate it when I have to stop doing something in order to even answer a question. I am AWFUL to my family when I am writing and they knock on my door or ask me when lunch will be ready. And don’t even get me started on how I feel when neighbors come by the farm unannounced.
On the way to town where our church is, we have to pass a Police check point going and coming. They have the authority to pull you over, check your documents, search your car and impound it if they deem necessary. It is such a pain when we are on the way to a Bible study or meeting and we get stopped. Lord Help me Jesus I get in the flesh in less time than it takes to blink. I don’t like be interrupted.
And that hatred for interruption boils down to one word: PRIDE.
Pride is the very opposite of what Jesus is teaching. He is teaching humility. It should be the basis of my actions. Even as I type this, I know that there is something I have to repent of and deal with concerning this topic. (I told you I am awful, I wasn’t lying)
The extra mile teaching doesn’t start at the moment someone asks or compels us to do something. The extra mile teaching starts with making sure Jesus has our heart from the moment we rise in the morning. If we go to Him and submit to Him, then as our day unfolds, His Spirit will guide us through and during the interruptions. And His principle is to do more than what is asked at the time of the interruptions or compellings.
I sure haven’t mastered this and I imagine that Jesus gets saddened at my resistance to His Message. Nevertheless, with His help, I will continue to meet Him in the morning and let His Heart compel mine for how many ever miles He needs me to go. After all, Jesus was compelled to carry His cross and He not only went, He gave all. And He humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8). Do I think myself better than He?
I hope you will succeed in this area and let His hand guide you in the way you need to go as well.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,