The Two Mile Christian

Matthew 5:41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

The idea behind this statement, and one that would have been very clear to His listeners in that day, was a Roman law. Beginning in about 300 BC, Rome constructed roads throughout the empire. This allowed for quick movement of troops and merchandise throughout the empire. At their peak, they had constructed over 250.000 miles of road of which 50,000 miles were paved ( cobblestone ). Some of those Roman roads are actually the path used by modern roads which now sit on top of the Roman original. We’ve all heard the expression “All roads lead to Rome”.  

On these roads, at every 1 mile  increment, they constructed a mile marker. This showed the mileage to Rome and sometimes other major cities. A Roman soldier could require anyone of the conquered people to carry his bag for one mile. If you refused, you would be flogged. You would have to drop everything you were doing and walk one mile carrying his item, then one mile back to where you were originally. Imagine how frustrating that would be?

So, I can imagine a person, having to go out of his way, carrying the bag with a bad attitude. When they reached the mile, throwing the bag down and stomping away.   So when Jesus talked about going with them two miles, I’m sure some ears pricked up. What?? Two miles. I guess, for a friend. For someone I care about. I’d be willing to go two miles.

Look at the context, who is he talking about? The people you love, the people who do good things to you? No. He is talking about loving your enemies. That’s the test of a two mile Christian. It’s easy to go the second mile for someone who is your friend, for someone who has gone the second mile for you.

  Who are the two mile Christians? These are the people who not only faithfully and willingly serve the people who are nice to them, or their friends. But they also go out of their way to serve those who have not been kind to them, to do for those who have gone out their way to be unkind to you. Now I’ll admit it, that’s hard, that takes a special kind of grace. That doesn’t come naturally, that comes through prayer and yielding. But it’s the kind of Christian that Jesus wants all of us to be.