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Summary: Summary: This sermon supports the understanding of humility, which use properly is one of the best weapons in a Christian’s arsenal; by traveling a second mile on a difficult, lonely road; a road Jesus knew and traveled, a road he want us to travel also.

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Word Count 2513

Leviticus 19:1-2,9-18 1 Corinthians 3:10-11,16-23 Matthew 5:38-48 Psalm 119:33-40

This sermon was delivered to St Oswald’s in Maybole, and St John in Girvan, Scotland on the 23rd February 2014 (Scottish Episcopal Churches in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries)

{this was an easy sermon to write, but extremely difficult and emotional sermon to deliver}.

Summary: This sermon supports the understanding of humility, which use properly is one of the best weapons in a Christian’s arsenal; by travelling a second mile on a difficult, lonely road; a road Jesus knew and travelled, a road he want us to travel also.

INTRODUCTION:

Today’s gospel reading is taken from the very well known “Sermon On The Mount”, … a sermon very early in ministry of Jesus and his Disciples … so we can conclude that this reading is fundamental, you know, it is the basics, the A B C of Christian life, and yet … not many Christians apply this principle themselves.

Now last year I gave a sermon on humility, where I said that humility is one of the most powerful attributes a Christian can have; it is not a weak attribute as the world thinks, but a true understanding of Christian humility leads to victory in so many ways.

Simply put, we Christians can display a character of humility because … we can. We have our faith in the Lord, as he guides us … and protects us … he also commissions us for his service; so humility used as it is meant, delivers all the power and strength we need to overcome.

And so today’s reading, supports that understanding on humility, by talking about travelling a second mile on a difficult, lonely road.

The King James says in Matthew 5:41”And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile … go with him twain”. Now the word “compel” here carries with it the idea of “an enthusiastic readiness, and a willingness to support someone who demands your services … and expects us to comply with their unreasonable demands.

If you are like me, and Christine too, our first reaction normally is, “what”! “Who the hell are you to demand that”? But Luke 6:30 says “Give to every man that asketh of thee”; so you can see straight away, that we are in trouble with this one.

The word “twain” here means two as you know, and according to Roman law, a Roman soldier could, and did, demand that a Jewish man carry his load for a mile … a full Roman mile: but notice the words Jesus uses here … because he does not say anything about any Roman Soldier, he says, “And whosoever shall compel you”, so to us today this would mean, anybody; and knowing Jesus … it would probably mean someone that we do not like; and where common sense tells us, to stay well clear. Ok.

But this command from Jesus does mean anybody, anybody could compel us to do their bidding, whether we agree with them or not; … and then … we do twice as much again as they have demand; … and then; further still … we carry out their orders, with a smile on our face.

This is exactly what today’s scripture tells us to do. … I don’t like either … but we are ordered to it. Why? Well because … just like the powerful humility attribute … it is not well understood. Jesus understood it though … and that is why he wanted his disciples to understand … so that they could release the power within.

So let us face up to it now, and at least examine it and see what it entails; … We will start with, the negatives to get them out of the way first.

1. Anybody means anybody.

The first point I want to make, returns us to the term “anybody” because there are full studies on this point alone, but simply put, to someone experienced as Jesus, anybody to him meant anybody.

However, I would suggest that somebody new to the Christian life should stick with their common sense for now, until they gain their confidence. If you are not sure, don’t, … it is as simple as that, but please be aware that we are not to think as the world thinks, but to start preparing ourselves to help and support those who come under the heading of anybody; whether we like them or not.

2. The second mile is a lonely road.

My second point this morning is that the second mile travels along a lonely road, where few people actually tread … and so … there must be a reason for this. The best topical examples I can give are the Olympic athletes. Do you honestly think they were selected for their country on talent alone, or do you think they travelled that second mile, training with every spare second they could, in ways that we would not believe, in order to win at their sport and get a medal. They travel that second mile with their trainers guiding and pushing them for self gain, but with trainers who are not actually on the road with them.

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