We have all heard the expression “Going The Extra Mile,” which refers to acts of service that go beyond what is required or expected. What some may not know is that the expression comes from the Bible, when Jesus declares in his sermon on the mount – “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:41).
The verse is a reference to the practice of “impressment,” which, among other things, allowed a Roman soldier to conscript a Jewish native to carry his equipment for one Roman mile (1,000 paces, about 1,611 yards ) — no easy task considering a Roman soldier’s backpack could weigh upwards of 100 pounds. Jesus’ point was that his followers must relinquish their individual “rights” in order to advance God’s kingdom through self-sacrifice.
Jesus taught a way of thinking that was contrary to the natural man. In this dog eat dog world of carnality, to lay your life down for others seems weak. But Jesus proved that humility and love are stronger than the worst this world can throw at you. He was born in a manger amongst the mess of animals. Was a poor carpenters apprentice, and as the scripture says, “made Himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7).
Isaiah the prophet said He was not good-looking or physically desirable (Isaiah 53:2). With all this He taught us that through loving people sacrificially and walking humbly in this world, you will be lifted up by God. It was the willingness to go two miles in a one mile world.
Go the extra mile. I promise you, if you live this way your life will be BLESSED!
1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon