Lent – Day 20 – A Study of Matthew 5
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41
The God of Israel was and is known by many names. One of those names is El Shaddai [Genesis 17:1-9] meaning the God of abundantly supply or God of more than enough. That is God’s nature and it is reflected in all creation. One apple seed produces countless apples. Millions of creatures are born in countless numbers.
Though some would try to suggest that creation rests in the conservation efforts of men alone, God has nevertheless set life in motion at His will and for His purpose and it will not be altered until He ordains it. Yes, men have been given limited dominion over some of creation.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26
God’s measure of life is that it is immeasurable. His measure of provision is the same. It is unlimited and even extravagant by the standards of human limitations. We are by nature, since the fall of Adam and Eve, given to thinking in terms of scarcity or barely enough because of the curse, working by the sweat of our brows in toil and labor at the mercy of the weather, the seasons and the caprices of “nature,” famines, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards and the like, not to mention wars and the machinations of men.
But God’s ways are not limited by these things, because whatever He decides He does. He created it all for His pleasure.
Now Jesus is telling us to act likewise. When asked to go one mile, go two. In other words, whenever we can, when asked to assist someone and help bear their burdens we should do more than what is asked of us as an act of worship unto God. This is true of the poor, but it is also true of those who labor and work to provide for themselves and their families.
At some point, all of us fall on rough times. It’s just the nature of the fallen world we live in. Certainly, all rough times are not monetary, and all are not material or physical. Though these often are the reasons for many of them. There are also rough times of the heart and soul, times when we are overburdened with the sorrows, stresses and pressures of our lives. In those times also we need someone to walk a mile with us, and then, how God-like when they chose to walk the extra mile with us as well.
This is not a call to ultimate dependence on men, but rather from our point of view, it is a call to extend the kingdom of God by being God’s feet and hands to assist those He loves and of whom Jesus also died to save in their times of need.
Be generous and be extravagant. It is always a blessing in the Kingdom of God.
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2