Go the Second Mile

Where this command is found:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Matthew 5:38-42

When someone does something wrong to us, a fleshly response is to repay them in the same way. However, Jesus’ command to Go the Second Mile is totally opposite: if they hurt you, don’t hurt them back; if they take something from you, give them even more than what they took; if they require you to serve them, serve them with joy going above and beyond what is required.

Why would Jesus give such a command that is exactly opposite to the way most people would normally respond? First, because it shows us our need to rely on Him to do it in and through us; and second, He is giving us a powerful weapon to overcome wrongs done to us. This weapon is spoken of in Romans 12:21, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” God’s way for us to overcome evil is with good!

The reason why our enemies are persecuting us, is because their lives are being motivated by evil. God is the center of all goodness. Our enemies’ greatest need is that they come to know God by experiencing the goodness of Christ (Romans 2:4). In the command to Go the Second Mile, we are not only given practical steps of how to respond to our enemies, but we are also given the opportunity to lead them to Jesus by our response.

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Go The Second Mile — Part 2

We will all be offended. But offenses can become opportunities for us to turn away from our natural reactions and to receive the Lord’s response in the situation.


Go The Second Mile — Part 3

God desires to “grow us up” — His will is to mature us so that we grow beyond our natural response to offenses. One of the first steps is that we allow Him to give us a new perspective on offenses.