"If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." Matthew 5:41
Under Roman law a soldier could require you to carry his baggage one mile, but no further. "To go the extra mile" means to do more than is required.
Jesus encourages us to do much more than the bare minimum. We help others not grudgingly because we have to, but freely and gladly out of love for our Savior.
Jesus did infinitely more for us than we deserved. He obeyed His heavenly Father perfectly to fulfill the Law for us. He willingly accepted the death penalty on the cross for our sins. He went the extra mile for us to provide us with forgiveness and eternal life.
Jesus calls us to respond in faith and love by bearing the burdens of others and going that extra mile. We resist the temptation to take revenge on those who have offended us and, instead, repay evil with good, just as Christ has loved us despite our offenses against God. We assist the undeserving, knowing that we too do not deserve the numerous blessings that are ours through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. And instead of bearing grudges, we forgive those who may seem unforgivable because God in Christ has forgiven us all our sins.
PRAYER: Help me, Lord Jesus, to walk the extra mile with others because You have gone the extra mile for my salvation. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)