"41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." - Matthew 5:41
At first I didn't know what I should write about for this particular Commands of Jesus installment. I have never been "forced" to walk with someone. It has always been a choice for me. "Hey, Bob. Would you like to go walking today?" That sort of thing.
No one has ever burst into my bedroom in the middle of the night and forced me to get up and go walking with them. So what does this command really mean? What am I supposed to do?
Have you ever been forced to do something against your will? Yeah. I go to work every day. I don't really WANT to go to work. I am "forced to" . . . because . . . I want to eat!! However, I think Jesus had something more in mind. He's looking for real sacrifice from us. That's what these last few commands we've been reading in Matthew have been all about.
Matthew 39: Do not resist the one who is evil, turn to him the other (cheek) also. Verse 40 let him have your cloak as well.
It seems to me that Jesus is looking for sacrifice from us beyond what most might consider a "normal" response. Remember, we are supposed to be servants in this world. We are supposed to be the ones who are "giving" even though we might not have much.
I am thinking of a young friend this morning. Her parents are kicking her out of the house. She has tried to get a job but has found none. What would Jesus want me to do in this situation?
There is another young friend in my life seeking funds to go on a mission trip. It's rather obvious what Jesus would want me to do there but in light of Jesus commanding us to go TWICE as far as we might otherwise, how much shall I contribute?
Funny. Here I am writing about this particular command about "going beyond" right as two people in my life surface with opportunities to do just that. Is there someone in YOUR life who could benefit from this command Jesus gave to us? Is there someone in YOUR life in need?
You know, a "command" is something that is often contrary to our will. I have another young friend who is in the Marines. It is DEFINITELY contrary to his nature to get up at 5:00AM and go for a 20-mile run with his platoon . . . but he does it.
What opportunity will occur today in YOUR life that would allow you to follow this command of Jesus? Will your spouse ask you to do something this weekend that you really don't want to do? I encourage you to be aware of any opportunities to follow the commands of Jesus.
We are here on earth to learn and grow in character and be transformed into the image of Jesus. We should be eagerly awaiting opportunities to do that, don't you think?
"10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much." - Luke 16:10
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers