Wayne Dean - The Second Mile - Saginaw, Michigan - 2009

Matthew 5:41, “Whosoever would compel you to go a mile, go with him twain.” What ever Jesus told His own would always bring blessing. Jesus always gave more than what He taught. Jesus lived in the second mile. He was always willing to stop and help, whether it was a friend or enemy. The second mile takes us from duty to privilege. The second mile is always more rewarding. There can be joy in the first mile of helping others but greater joy in the second mile. We could be trudging along in the first mile and missing so much.


There was a Roman law that a Roman soldier could compel a Jew to carry his pack for a mile. No matter what you were doing or which way you were traveling, he could stop you and make you carry his burden for one mile, even if you were going in the opposite direction. One’s response would be one of dislike and disagreement. If in the first mile you began to walk beside this Roman soldier, who was your enemy and converse with him and then offer to go another mile, your enemy may become your friend. Jesus was willing to stop and help, whether friend or enemy. What would happen if we actually go ahead to love our enemy like Jesus loved and taught? If someone we dislike would ask us do something, we could be just trudging along with drudgery in the spirit of anger. The Holy Spirit will always lead us to go the second mile. The second mile is the avenue to opportunity.


Genesis 37:13-18, "Jacob said to Joseph, 'Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? I will send thee unto them.' Joseph replied, 'Here am I.'" Second milers always respond this way. "Go I pray thee, see if it be well with them?" Joseph did what his father asked him to do, even though he knew that his brothers hated him. His brothers were not in Shechem, so he went until he found them. When he went the second blessing, he entered into the will of God and it became a blessing. It was 20 years before he saw his father, Jacob again. He faced many unpleasant experiences and probably didn’t understand during those years, but his willingness to let God lead, he now could see that God meant it for good. Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, you meant it evil against me, but God meant it for good, to save much people alive."


Genesis 22, Abraham offered Isaac in the second mile. By going all the way to Mt. Moriah to offer his son to the Lord, he proved that the Lord was faithful in keeping His promise and blessed Abraham greatly. Moses at the burning bush said, “Here am I,” and the Lord was able to use him to make a great deliverance of the children of Israel.


Philemon went the second mile. Verse 21, Paul said, “Knowing that thou will do more than I say.” He had confidence that Philemon would take back the runaway slave Onesimus. Paul went the second mile by telling Philemon, “If he had wronged thee or owed thee ought, put that on mine (Paul) account." Verse 7, Paul said, “We have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.” There is blessing in keeping in touch. In keeping in touch with God’s servants today, we are going the second mile.


Matthew 5:43-44, "You have heard that it hath been said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,' but I say unto you, 'Love your enemy, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.'" That’s second mile love. Luke 10:25-35, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted Jesus asking, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He knew what the law said – to love your neighbor. This is first mile love. So he trying to justify himself, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. The rescued the man who was robbed and beaten by thieves and bound up his wounds and gave him wine. This was the first mile. Then he took him to an Inn and told the innkeeper to take care of him and he would pay the bill. This was the second mile. The first mile love is to love our neighbour as ourselves. The second mile love is to love our brethren as Jesus loves us. (John 13:34) This is the much higher standard of Jesus' commandments.


John 3:16 and I John 3:16, God loved the world so much that He gave His only son for our salvation. Jesus laid His life down for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. This is second mile love. First mile praying is our need to pray. Second mile prayer is to love to pray and get in touch with God.


Wayne told of when his parents forbad him going to meeting, he was about 15 years of age. He had to wait for the bus more than an hour. The workers would meet him on Monday and take him to one of the nearby friends house and have a little fellowship meeting with him. It occurred to him years later, that they had to travel quite a distance from the gospel meeting the night before, to be there to pick him up, so he could have that little spirit sustaining meeting, the only fellowship he could get. This was going the second mile for them.

** Not verbatim