Second-mile Service

When I travel, in many places, people rush to help me carry my belongings. In our culture the people who are esteemed like powerful political leaders or teachers or guru or elderly should be served. Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated a different model of serving people. “He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.” (John 13:4,5) When religious leaders demand disciples and devotees to wash their feet, Lord Jesus stooped down to wash the feet of disciples. This was a job of a hired worker or paid servant or bond slave, and Lord Jesus was none of these, but their Rabbi or guru.

In the Roman Empire, a soldier had authority to command any person to carry his luggage – arms, personal belongings and other things that may weigh forty to fifty kilograms for one mile. The soldier cannot force the citizen to do it for the second mile. Lord Jesus Christ taught His disciples to do a second-mile voluntary service. (Matthew 5: 38-42) That means, a person must walk two miles along with a soldier and walk back to his place another two miles. It becomes four miles of walk.

1) All jobs: serving fellow disciples and strangers by doing mean, odd, unproductive, time-consuming, dirty, difficult, and tiresome jobs is walking a second mile. Lord Jesus demonstrated that by washing the feet of His disciples including His betrayer.

2) Attitude: Doing the unpleasant task should be done joyfully, willingly, and whole-heartedly. It is another difficult expectation.

3) Mandated mile: The first mile is mandated by the law of the empire. It is performed as a duty.

4) Motivated mile: The second mile is motivated by love for the Lord; hence performed as sacrifice or loving service.

5) Good over evil: This is a training to overcome evil by good. High standard of the Lord’s expectation is not possible without His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Do I lovingly walk the second mile?