Our kids here at NHCOC are actively involving themselves in a Kindness Challenge this month. Today’s challenge is to “Do an extra chore to help out at home”.
This is a GREAT kindness challenge and one that is based on the foundational teachings of Jesus. Read with me…
You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
In the first century, Roman soldiers could force citizens of Israel or any foreigner to carry their packs for a mile. Here is the backstory to give you more context. Cyrus the Great created a postal system to deliver letters and documents from one place to another (think USPS). To make this work, any postman could force anyone to carry the mail for one mile, but only one mile. The Romans adopted this system to keep their soldiers from being worn out from carrying their luggage (Usually, it weighed around 60 pounds or more). Therefore Roman soldiers could compel any Jew to carry his pack for a mile. The Roman roads had mile markers, so it was easy to know where each mile started and ended. If someone refused, then they would be punished. The Jews hated the Romans because of the oppression and infiltration in their region and culture, and to carry their bags around was even further degrading.
Then Jesus says, not only are you to carry it one mile, but then you are to carry it another mile. Go the extra mile. Why Jesus? Why do you have to say things like this? Cant we just do the bare minimum and be ok? Now, I know we don’t carry backpacks anymore for soldiers, but I am sure that this principle can be applied to many things.
Can we go the extra mile? I think we can, and when we do, it shows the person how much we love God and how dedicated we are to Him. It shows them how much we love them and how good we want to be to other people.
There is no letting how many soldiers became Christians because someone was willing to go the extra mile.