Religion Magazine

Going The Extra Mile

By Ldsapologetics
We've all been told a time or two we should go the extra mile. It comes from Jesus' teaching. Here it is from scripture:

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Matthew 5:40-42

Jesus lived under Roman rule and it was common that Jews would be forced or compelled to carry a soldiers gear a mile or even several.

So Jesus is telling His audience that when they are forced to carry a Roman soldiers gear a mile they should carry it two or go the extra mile.

Jesus also teaches that when someone sues them for their coat they should also give them their cloak. Now in Jesus' time a cloak was used as a blanket for sleep so it was very much of value.

It would be like saying if someone asks for your bike give them your car or if someone asks for a dollar give them your wallet.

Jesus is telling us all the lengths we ought to go to in loving one another as He loves us. And the love Jesus preached and lived is radical. Absolutely game changing. Life changing.

But the most contested and denied or annotated teach of Jesus is His teaching that we should all love our enemies. It is also found in the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

If we only love those who love us what reward do we have? Publicans were the tax collectors who were viewed as thieves. Matthew was one of them. So if we only love those who love us, if we are only good to those who are good to us then how are we any better than thieves?

But if we go the extra mile in our love for one another, if we meet hate with love how much more like Christ will we be?

Do we really practice what we preach? Do we turn the other cheek metaphorically or literally when struck?

If we can't be the message, if we don't or won't go the extra mile how is anyone to believe us when we preach the message?

What credibility do we have to others but especially to God? We may fool others but the point is that we never fool God.

He goes the extra mile for us, so shouldn't we go the extra mile for Him and by extension His children? We can change the world one leper, one adulteress and one tax collector at a time. 

But many would say we no longer have those people in our everyday life. Times do change. Addictions change. Clothing changes but the human condition does not. 

We are still human and His children.

And we are taught to go the extra mile. We deserve to be so good to each other. We deserve to change the world one person at a time and by going the extra mile in as many ways, in as many times and places as we can.

We can change the world one poor person, one homeless person, one addict at a time.

My wife saw a homeless kid at City Creek a while back and bought him food from a cart and got him a drink. She told him about a shelter that would help him get back on his feet. I believe it was The Road Home.

Over a year later he recognized her on a Trax train. He praised her profusely. He cried he was so grateful. All she did was buy him a hotdog and a drink and told him about a shelter but that got him on his feet again.

He had been yelled at, he had been demeaned for being homeless and he had been accosted and my wife was the first person in a very long time to treat him as a person rather than disposable trash.

He asked only for change but my wife went the extra mile because it was the right thing to do.

Going the extra mile is loving greatly rather than in a mediocre fashion. We all have it in us to be that Christlike.

Going The Extra Mile


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