In mentioning the second mile, our Lord refers to a well-known Eastern custom of forwarding messages by relays of forced labor. We leave our homes on a given morning, anticipating no evil. Suddenly and unexpectedly there are sounds of horses' hoofs and a great demand is thrust upon us. We are sent off in a direction we never contemplated and are compelled to go one mile. It is the second that tests character; and your actions with respect to it will determine whether you have entered into the spirit of Christ and are willing to serve others for love's sake and at cost of peril and inconvenience to yourself.
Love to one's neighbor appears in many passages in the Old Testament. See Exodus 23:4-5. But we have to love enemies and resemble God's sun and rain, Matthew 5:45. You say that it is impossible! Remember those sweet old words: "I taught Ephraim to go," Hosea 11:1-4. Ask your Heavenly Father to teach you to love. Remember Galatians 5:22. Dare to believe that He will perfect what concerneth you. [source]
Chapter Summary: Matthew 5
1Jesus' sermon on the mount: 3The Beattitudes; 13the salt of the earth; 14the light of the world 17He came to fulfill the law 21What it is to kill; 27to commit adultery; 33to swear 38He exhorts to forgive wrong, 43to love our enemies; 48and to labor after perfection
What do the individual words in Matthew 5:41 mean?
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