Command of Christ # 9

Hello! This week's command is to 'Go the Second Mile.' In Mt. 5:38-41 Jesus says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also, and if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy cloak, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."

In the time of Jesus, the people were still living under the Law and had turned justice into revenge. The Law had specific commands to make sure justice was carried out. The people had begun to use it for more than just justice, but to retailiate and make the offender suffer. In these verses, Jesus confirms the spirit of the Law: to love God and to love others. Rather than Christians bringing others to court to get their revenge, He calls us to turn the other cheek and actually show love to our offenders. Naturally, this is the opposite of what we would like to do.

When Jesus said this, the Romans were ruling the nation and the Roman soldiers could reguire any boy to carry their heavy backpack one mile in any direction. Jesus commanded them to not only go the first mile, but to also go an additional mile to show honor and genuine love. God is calling us to do the same; when an undesirable boss or authority tells us to do something, we should not just do the bare minimum, but go beyond what is required of us. The first 'mile' we go is just our duty, but when we go the second mile, we are investing of ourselves and showing the love of Christ.

Jesus said to offer the other cheek when we are slapped. While most of us will not be physically slapped, we will probably be verbally slapped. Oftentimes we are 'slapped', because of something offensive we have said to them first. When we are innocent and someone 'slaps' us, our response should be polite and not defensive. Christ was slapped, beaten, spat upon, cursed, etc. and could have easily destroyed them, but He kept silent. "Who when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth reighteously" (I Pet. 2:23). We must be gracious when we are treated 'unfairly' and seek to love that person like Jesus did.

Ray Comfort is a very good example of someone who turns the other cheek. Ray Comfort is an evangalist by occupation and has been one of the most influential Christians in my life. His life is used to spread the Gospel and he gets a LOT of opposition. He receives hate mail and people say horrible things to him and about him. He very kindly replies and does not show any sign of retaliation. He often gets e-mails filled with bad language and blasphemies and Mr. Comfort will reply graciously and even tells them to have a good day or asks them how they are doing. They often reply by apologizing for being so vulgar and thank him for his kindness. Some of these strict atheists end up having lengthy conversations with him, because Mr. Comfort shows love to them and turns the other cheek. How would these situtations be different if Mr. Comfort would have replied defensively?

-How can you use insults to shine the light of Christ to the offender?
-Is there a present situation where you could go the 'second mile'?
-How can you invest in the lives of those who have offended you?
-Do you consistently show the love of Christ when you are offended?

I don't know about you, but I have a LOOONG way to go to perfect this command! Jesus will give us the grace to respond properly, do not resist His help!

"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrawise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing" (I Peter 3:9).

Blessings,
Amanda
some notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ journal and Pocket Guide

P.S. To learn more about Ray Comfort and his ministry, visit livingwaters.com. His materials and videos have greatly impacted my life and given me a desire to win lost souls!

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