Summary: It is one thing to go the first mile but what about the second (extra) mile.
Title: Going the second mile
Theme: Showing the importance of taking the extra step.
Text: Matthew 5:41
Listen to this:
A loud commanding voice rang out. Thirteen men looked to their left side to see what all the ruckus was all about. There stood a Roman solider yelling at a young Jewish man," Jew carry my pack one mile." They watched and listened as the Jew pleaded with the solider," but sir I am on my way to work and my business must be opened before the early morning rush. I don’t have time to carry your pack you are going in the opposite direction. The solider drew his sword and repeated his orders," Jew carry my pack." So finally the Jew huffed and puffed and frowned and obeyed his orders. Twelve of the thirteen men who watched the episode were astonished. But Jesus was not.
Just about a decade before Jesus came to this earth the Roman senate had passed a law this law read, "In any conquered province within the Roman Empire, soilders may compel able bodied men to bear their burden one mile, but no more."
I don’t know if this ever happened but it would not surprise me if it did. Especially knowing the disciples and Jesus teaching techniques and especially knowing the scribes and Pharisees.
This is what I would like to focus on today, and that is verse 41, the NIV version reads If some one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. I want to talk about the second mile. I believe that we as Christians are required to live in the second mile. I want to discuss three things about the second mile and these three are
I. Christianity is a second mile religion
II. Jesus requries us to live in the second mile
III. Are you committed to live in the second mile.
I. Christianity is a second mile religion
First Christianity is a second mile religion. Since the beginning of Gods creation there has been many religions established. And before we die we will see many more established. It seems that there is a religion for everything. One to worship the animals, one to worship the trees even one to worship the fish. But there is one thing that Christianity has that none other has. Christianity is a second mile religion. If you are a Christian you are required to live in the second mile. So what is the second mile. Here are a few examples.
To love ones neighbor is the first mile, to love ones enemy is the second mile.
To bless those who bless you is the first mile, to bless those who curse you is the second mile.
To do good to those who do good to you is the first mile to do good to those who hate you is the second mile.
Praying for those who pray for you is the first mile and praying for those who despitefully use you is the second mile.
The Pharisees lived in the first mile and Christians live in the second mile.
Christianity is the most rigorous, and demanding, religion in the world. It is the hardest religion in the world. But it is also the most rewarding in the world. When you call yourself a Christian it should be like a certain pride but also a certain humbleness to it. Because it is not easy. If it is easy then you are living the wrong life. If it is not demanding then your are living wrong. This is all because it is a second mile religion. It is loving all.
You see in some religions you have to have a certain amount of money or status in this world then you can be a part but Christianity is unique. You can’t be a part of Christianity and a part of another religion. You can be a Hindu and a Buddhist but Christianity is alone. So saying all of this, this is what makes it unique. That is the second mile that Christians take. Going over the
II. Christ lived in the second mile
Second Christ required us to live in the second mile. He did this in two ways. His life and his teaching.
A. His life
First let us look at the life of Christ. What did he do that was living in the second mile. How ’bout eating with Zacchaeus. A known tax collector. A thief in the eyes of the people. This man was hated by the people of the town but he went and ate with him just as he went and ate with the sinners. Now this may not seem to be living in the second mile but these are sometimes people who others don’t care about. These are considered to be the low life’s of society such as the homeless. Jesus talked to these people he dealt with these people. Jesus realized that the ones who are saved already have the gospel and the ones who really needed it is the ones who are lost.