You can go further in life than you thought possible
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.( Matt. 5)
A reference to the custom of forced service in transport by a kings courier who could demand the service of others to carry out the kings business. To refuse was an unpardonable offense to the king.
And as they came out they found a man of Cyrene Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. (Matt.27:32).
The key word for compel is the word forced. No one likes to be forced into doing anything because it triggers anger and frustration. In our above text Jesus is giving his famous sermon on the mount during the time of Roman oppression. The people of Israel were looking for the Messiah to free them from Roman oppression, but then Jesus says whosoever compels you to go a mile, go with him two. Imagine the looks of frustration from his audience along with questions from this statement.
Bringing this scenario down to today, think about one of those days when a person just does not feel like going to work. They may love their job but everyone has days when they would love to stay in bed. Finally as the clock ticks down to 15 minutes before going home the supervisor comes in and says you have been mandated to stay after another 8 hours. Mind you this is not voluntary overtime, but the boss has mandated! the person is now infuriated because they are ready to go home and they did not even feel like working the first eight hours. This is how the people of Jesus day felt during his sermon on the mount after he mentions going two miles when forced to go one.
What was Jesus trying to convey to his audience?
First of all life compels or forces one into situations they would rather not be in but there is no choice in the matter. This could come through bad decisions from others that affect you such as bad politics,or even decisions right from ones home. What does one do when they find themselves in this situation? They should have a good attitude first of all because its better to go through the situation with a good attitude than with a bad one.
James 1 says to count it all joy when you fall into different temptations (testing and trials) knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. A persons faith is certainly being tested during such times, but this is a good thing because this works patience in a persons life. Before God increases his children with blessings, he builds Character in their life so they can keep what he gives them. There are many gifted and talented people who reach fame only to lose it later on because of no Character. So we see that it is through these forced situations of life that Jesus is taking a person farther than they thought possible.
Notice the Roman soldier and his servant are in transition when Jesus says whosoever compels thee to go a mile and it is during this forced situation that Jesus says to obey me and go two miles. A person cannot and will not receive the blessing associated with this problem if their attitude does not change.It is possible to obey but not be willing to do so because of a bad attitude. But if one obeys Jesus instructions they will have gone two miles which is farther than the one meaning they will have gone farther than they thought possible. Jesus wants to take people farther than they thought possible in their relationship with him, their family, finances, career and on and on if they learn to have a good attitude during the compelling's of life.
Moses went farther than he thought possible when he was compelled by God to do something that he did not want to do and that was go tell Pharaoh to let Israel go. He went from saying he could not speak to leading the children of Israel out of bondage.
Ruth went farther than she thought possible because when she did not know God she was compelled to remain with a bitter woman named Naomi who became bitter for blaming God because of the loss of her husband and two sons. Ruth told her that her God would be her God and her people would be her people. She became part of the lineage for Jesus.
There are examples all through the bible of this principle, but one can look at one's life and see how far one has come and been placed where one never thought they would be.