Summary: This message looks at what is behind Jesus' command for us to go the second mile. It's in the second mile that Jesus is most often glorified.
Disciples Go The Second Mile
How many of us are “it must be fair” kind of people? We are not going to do anything unless its fair or we are treated fairly. We show up to do something for God and then get angry because not enough showed up so we had to do extra.
How many of you know we serve an unfair kind of a God, and we’re glad that God is not fair? Jesus told us the Father is not fair. He said, God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous unlike. God does not give us what we deserve, God always gives us more.
If we are going to allow the Spirit of God to work through us to reach others, then we have to be willing to be used by the Holy Spirit to do more than what is expected. In one of his sermons, Jesus said to the people if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
When Jesus talked about going the second mile, the people knew exactly what he meant. At the time he said walk the second mile, the Jews were under Roman authority. They didn’t have jeeps to ride around in back then, and sometimes the Roman soldiers gear would get heavy. They could force any person to carry it for a mile. You see under Roman authority, the Jewish person had to walk the first mile and carry that load. There was no arguing and fussing or whining about it.
That’s just the way life was. You were under their authority and they owned you for a mile. It did not matter that already had plans for the day. They’ve been yelling at you to keep up, and calling you all kind of names while you’re walking with this load.
So imagine there you are carrying this load for this person you are simply thanking God for the opportunity to serve. Now you know that once you get to the end of the mile, the person could not make you go a second mile. You would drop down his bags, and say “Solider, my mile is up and I’ll be leaving now”. As a joke he might say, “aw come on don’t you want to go another mile”. Jesus was teaching, shock the daylights out of him and offer to go the second mile and mean it.
You see for the first mile, he owned you and you had no other choice but to do what was asked. But in the second mile, you own yourself and you’re in control of how you’re going to let Jesus shine in you.
Jesus is saying the difference between the disciple and the wanna be is that the disciple goes above and beyond in walking the second mile, and does the little extra that causes the person that is over them to say, "Wait a minute. They don’t have to do this. They don’t need to do this, Why are they doing this?" When you do what’s asked, “and go the second mile”, it’s the “the second mile” that catches the person’s attention. It’s a way of impacting the world for Jesus Christ.
How do you honestly examine your spiritual walk today. Are you hoping God is going to make an exception for you because you’re not even trying to live right? Are you doing the bare minimum to be considered a Christian?. Are you fairly doing your part? Or Are you opening your heart to the Holy Spirit to go beyond what’s expected so that you can have an impact for Christ with your life.
Anyone going through life doing just enough to get by is going to miss out on a number of blessings and opportunities. God knows there are a number of things that can happen in the second mile, that we can’t see. The Holy Spirit may be waiting in the second mile.
A second mile person is a person who does what’s asked of him or her, and then does something above that on their own. You ask the person to vacuum the living room, she does it, and then straightens the furniture on her own. You ask the person to change your oil, he does it but on his own he checks your transmission fluid level, your antifreeze level, and your tire pressure on his own. That’s a second mile and a then some kind of person. How many of you are eager to tell others about second mile persons and then recommend them to others? As disciples, we want others to talk about us.
We want New Life At Calvary to be a second mile kind of a church. That’s why we do the hot meals we serve in the way that we do. We treat people as our special guests serving them. A second mile church is willing to risk more and give more, because it wants to touch others with the love of Jesus Christ.