Have you gone the second mile?

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ ” “But I tell you not to 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 away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.” “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two…” Matthew 5:38-41.


Compels, angareuo Strong’s #29. A verb derived from the Persian, where it described a courier with the authority to impress people into public service. In NT times the word carries the same idea. Roman officials and soldiers had the right to press into service a person, his horses, his equipment, and his family members, usually without advance notice.

The verse An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, comes from a several of Old Testament passages Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, and   Deuteronomy 19:21. Theologically this is called lex talionis, or the Law of Retribution. The law of retribution was necessary to insure the protection of the innocent as well as to make sure that retribution did not exceed the offense.

In these verses, the Lord is saying that, as His disciples, we are to go beyond what is expected. We are to freely give up our “rights” for the sake of the One who gave everything for us. Instead of retaliation, the follower of Jesus will deny himself (or herself) and entrust themselves to a God who will set all things in the proper order at the proper time.

Jesus forbids revenge by insisting upon positive good in the face of evil in terms of personal insult (Vs.39), legal contention (Vs. 40), forced labor (vs.41), and requests for gifts or loans (Vs. 42).

That is a difficult mindset to have (see Philippians 2:5, NKJV). The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38). It requires a trust in God that is rare to find among believers…

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 14:10:25

    Having a sinful nature, I find the scripture you have chosen to be a great challenge. Thank the Lord for His Holy Spirit. It compels us to do the unnatural thing. God’s Spirit gives us a power that the world cannot give. Without Him, we could not love our enemies or pray for those who mean us harm.

    Excellent study, Manny.


    • Mannyr
      Dec 13, 2012 @ 20:36:52

      When facing a real humdinger of a challenge if i yield to His presence the results are very life giving. It is so easy to just blow these opportunity’s off and regret the chance to walk as Jesus would have do. Thanks for your friendship and wisdom. Blessings.


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