'If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles'
In Jesus day, by law, a Roman soldier could order any Jewish civilian they chose to carry his baggage, mainly containing heavy armour and equipment, for one Roman mile. A Roman mile is roughly 1.45 kilometers. This was often a painful task, as the civilian chosen by the Roman soldier would have to carry around 40-50 kilograms of weight. Once the mile was over, the 'servant' could legally drop the load. Nothing else was expected of them. That was the law. The Christian however, as Jesus said, is not to leave it at one mile but to go two miles. You can imagine the soldier imploring the Christian to stop and put down his load after one mile as they were now into illegal territory and the soldier could end up in trouble or maybe the soldier would have been wondering what this totally unexpected kind act was all about and a very interesting conversation could have resulted.
Jesus' instruction to '…go with them two miles' draws a clear line of demarcation between a Christian action and what would be considered a natural, expected reaction in the circumstances and what He said then echoes through history to us today. If something is expected of you then don't just begrudgingly do enough but do more than is expected with a good attitude remembering the words of Paul:
'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving' Colossians 3.23-24.
Love and blessings,
Steve & Pauline - March 2020