Divine Imperatives September 21 Devotional
by David Joynt on September 21, 2023
MATTHEW 5:41 | 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.
The word for “forces you” in this verse refers to a military person commandeering a private citizen, and in the context a Jewish colonial subject, to carry his baggage for a mile. Our alarm bells go off—cooperating in the exploitive degradation imposed by an occupier? Notice though, Jesus does not ask us to turn someone else’s cheek, give away another’s coat, or be passive in the face of a third party’s suffering. The operative word is “you” and the difficult question for disciples is how to respond personally to a Roman soldier. Jesus here, distances Himself from the violent zealot option. The first mile gives Caesar what he asks, the second meets exploitation with willing service. The second mile shocks the exploiter into a recognition that the oppressed are still free to respond freely.
When have you last gone the “second mile?”
Make me sufficiently obedient to be radical. Help me recognize the opportunities I have to exceed expectations.