And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him
twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou
away, MAT 5:41-42.
On the issue of "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," Jesus used four
examples to contrast the perverted teaching of the law by the scribes and Pharisees and
the intent of the law as taught by Jesus. MAT 5:38-42 says, "Ye have heard that it
hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye
resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other
also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy
cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him
that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."
The main principle taught by Jesus in these contrasts is against that of the scribes
and Pharisees. They taught that these Scriptures meant we must take revenge, but Jesus
says that we are to resist evil.
We have dealt with wrongful attacks against your person and your property in V:39-40.
The Lord Jesus refers to the third example under this heading in V:41. Our text says,
"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." This is the
third of the four examples the Lord Jesus is using to correct the perverted teaching of
the scribes and Pharisees regarding revenge.
"Whosoever shall compel thee..." the word compel is to force, i.e.,
"Whosoever shall force thee to go a mile with him, go with him twain."
To understand what Jesus is talking about, we have to understand the history of the
times and place where the Lord Jesus spoke in context of the time He spoke the words.
Jesus spoke of a Persian custom adopted by the Roman soldiers when traveling. They
compelled a person to serve as a baggage-carrier or as a guide to direct the traveler. It
was the custom of the time to compel a person to do this for one mile. Now the Lord Jesus
says that if they compel you to go one mile, offer to go two miles. Why? The Jews grumbled
and felt frustrated within their hearts when a Roman soldier compelled them to carry his
baggage for one mile. Jesus is showing them that they had the wrong attitude and an
unchristian spirit. They were not fulfilling the spirit of the law.
One thousand paces was considered to be one mile at that time. This meant that a Roman
soldier who was traveling could compel any Jew to pick up his baggage and carry it for him
for one mile or one thousand paces. The Jews were very resentful. They would count to one
thousand, and they would never carry it one pace over one thousand paces. They would never
go one step beyond what they were compelled. Very grudgingly, after carrying this burden
one mile, or one thousand paces, they set the burden down. The Roman soldier could compel
another person to carry it for the next mile.
We read an example of this custom in MAR 15:21, "And they compel one Simon a
Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to
bear his cross." The man was coming out of the country, into the city, and they
arbitrarily summoned him and compelled him to carry the cross. This spirit of resentment
brought about much murmuring. The Jews hated the presence of the Romans in their country.
It was especially humiliating for them to be compelled, as a servant, to carry a Roman's
baggage for a mile. A Jew, regardless of his position in the community, could be forced to
turn from his journey to be a servant of the Roman soldier. Scribes, Pharisees, or the
ordinary citizen who was Jewish had to stop in their journey, wherever they were going, to
carry the soldier's baggage.
The teaching of the scribes and Pharisees in this was revenge, i.e., eye for eye and
tooth for tooth. The Lord Jesus was showing them that they were missing the spirit of the
The Lord placed the woman under the authority of her husband as a curse for rebelling
against the authority of the Lord. This lesson is what the Jews overlooked. They were
placed under the authority of the Romans by the Lord. In pronouncing the curse of the
broken law upon the woman the Lord said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy
conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy
husband, and he shall rule over thee," GEN 3:16. This word "desire" comes
from the Hebrew word, "Teshuwqah," which means "A longing desire to
overflow, i.e., a desire to run over." Think of the curse of that broken law! A woman
has a longing, yearning, desire to run over top of her husband, yet God said, "...and
he shall rule over thee."
This curse of the broken law only results in confusion until we come under the spirit
of the law. "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2CO 3:17)
from that curse of the law because there is submission. That's why any rebellion against
such authority is rebellion against the Lord. If a woman rebels against the authority of
her husband, she is not rebelling against her husband; she is rebelling against the
authority of the Lord. They were overlooking the fact that it was the Lord who had placed
them under the authority of the Romans as a curse for their sin of rebellion against the
Lord's will. Their murmuring was actually against the Lord.
The Jews had been a great nation with their own king at one time. The whole world stood
in awe and fear of them when they served the Lord. When the Jews and all Israel forsook
the Lord, when they became rebellious against the Lord, the Lord brought them into
captivity for their rebellion against Him. They had lost sight of the fact that the Lord
had placed them under the yoke of Roman authority as a curse for their rebellion against
the Lord and His will.
Jesus is teaching that their rebellion against the Lord brings this curse of a confused
mind filled with a wrong attitude toward the Roman yoke. Jesus is teaching the principle
that where the Spirit of the Lord is, i.e., a spirit of submission, there is liberty from
such confusion of mind. The spirit of the law would lead them to repenting of their
rebellion against the Lord. Then they would receive the Roman yoke as the reward of their
sin; the Jews would not resist, complain, and grumble but submit. If they were compelled
to go one mile, they would cheerfully go two because they would know the Lord had placed
them in that position of servitude.
This is what the Lord Jesus is talking about when He says, "And whosoever shall
compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain," i.e., Come into subjection. Come into
submission as unto the Lord. You are not rebelling against Roman soldiers; you are
rebelling against the Lord. It was the Lord who placed you in servitude, and He placed you
there for your rebellion.
The Jews were so confused in their attitude toward the spirit of the law because they
were suffering under the curse of Eden. They had a yearning desire to rule over the
Romans, but the Lord had put the Romans in a position to rule over them. These Jews would
do absolutely the minimum required. There was not a Jew who would carry that baggage one
pace farther than he was compelled. He had a frustrated, resentful spirit against the
Romans, and he would go only as far as he was compelled.
The Lord Jesus contrasts this spirit of rebellion with the spirit of submission, not
only as unto the Romans, but as unto the Lord. The Lord Jesus is teaching that by
cheerfully submitting to those whom the Lord has placed over us, we demonstrate remorse
over our rebellion which brought us into this servitude. When we go that extra mile
cheerfully, it reveals a brokenness of heart; it shows a repenting spirit. It is showing
that when rebellion is broken, the curse of the law, i.e., the confusion of mind, is gone.
By volunteering to go that extra mile, we demonstrate a spirit of submission, not unto
the Romans, but unto the Lord. ROM 13:1-2 tells us, "Let every soul be subject unto
the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of
God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they
that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." The Lord is saying that when we
resist the power that He placed over us, we are resisting Him; we are living in rebellion.
There is no submission to the taskmaster whom He placed over us to break the rebellion in
Joseph is an example of a wrongful attack against our liberty. In light of this
example, how should we conduct ourselves under such wrongful attack? Human reason would
say that the Romans were wrong, but it was the Lord who placed them there. Joseph suffered
wrongful attacks against his liberties, but he served in a Christlike spirit. Joseph was
sold as a slave to serve in the house of Potiphar. He was sold out of envy. It was a
wrongful attack against his liberty.
What did Joseph do? He served Potiphar with such diligence that Potiphar could put
everything he owned in Joseph's hands. Joseph's Christlike spirit made it possible for
Potiphar to give Joseph so much responsibility. Joseph had not done wrong nor did he
deserve to be there as a slave, but this was where the Lord had placed him. He became the
governor over all that Potiphar had which shows the fruit of his submission. This is the
principle the Lord Jesus is teaching here: under such wrongful attack against your
liberty, you serve with cheerful submission and go the extra mile.
Through Joseph's spirit of submission, the Lord gave Joseph favour in the sight of the
keeper of the prison. Joseph was cast in prison wrongfully, but he took it patiently. What
did he do? He went the extra mile! He served the keeper of the prison faithfully in every
way he was able; he was in submission to the Lord. He grew in favor with the Lord, and he
gained favor in the sight of the prison keeper. This is what the Lord Jesus is teaching.
He had placed the Jews under the yoke of the Romans. If they would serve in the spirit
that Joseph served, the Lord would give them favor in the sight of the Romans. He would
lessen the yoke. The Lord would see that the spirit of rebellion was broken, and as they
walked in the spirit of submission, He would ease that yoke.
GEN 39:21-2 says, " But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave
him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison
committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they
did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that
was under his hand, i.e., he had no need to question Joseph's integrity, because the LORD
was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper."
Look what happened to Joseph under such circumstances. He was made equal to the keeper
of the prison. The keeper of the prison didn't even ask for an accounting any more than
Potiphar did because Joseph was serving in this Christlike spirit. He was going the extra
mile. Joseph could have sat in prison with his arms folded and done nothing. He would have
been there fulfilling the intent of his duty. He was a prisoner, but Joseph went the extra
mile; he didn't sit and grumble. He became a servant who went the extra mile, and the next
thing you know the keeper of the prison put all things in his hands. He gained favor with
God and the prison keeper. This is the principle that Jesus is teaching in our text.
Jesus is teaching that they resist not evil by resisting, complaining, grumbling, and
doing only the absolute minimum required. The Lord is saying that if they compel you to go
one mile, go two. Our text teaches the spirit of Christ's subjection which was
demonstrated by Joseph. MAT 5:41 says, " And whosoever shall compel thee to go a
mile, go with him twain."
Accepting this wrongful attack against our liberty demonstrates our remorse for abusing
our liberty. When the Jews had their own king and living in prosperity, when other nations
trembled before them, they had great liberty, but they abused it! So the Lord sent
wrongful attacks against their liberty; He took away their king. Individually the people
had wrongful attacks against their liberty. Why? It was because they abused their liberty,
and the Lord took their liberty away.
The spirit of submission found in Joseph would have entreated the Lord to be with the
Jews as He was with Joseph, "... and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the
sight of the keeper of the prison." If the Jews had walked in a spirit of submission
to the Romans, if they had come into a Christlike spirit, the Lord would have given them
favor in the sight of the Romans; He would have removed that grievous yoke. They would
have had responsibilities, and they would have walked in favor with their superiors. They
didn't realize their rebellion was against the Lord.
Because they were in rebellion against His will, the Lord made the Jews servants to the
Romans. Therefore, they must render service to the Romans as unto the Lord. They
overlooked the fact that they had to render their service as unto the Lord. The teachings
of the scribes and Pharisees led to a rebellious and revengeful spirit.
EPH 6:5-8 says, "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to
the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; [The Jews
were servants to the Romans. They were not serving with fear and trembling in singleness
of heart as unto Christ.] Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers [We are not to serve in a
way as to gain points, but to do it out of a spirit of meekness and lowliness as unto the
Lord.]; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart." That's
what the Lord is looking at--a heart religion. He is looking at the attitude of our
hearts. Are we walking that extra mile as before the eyes of the Lord? Are we doing it in
subjection to His will?
Verses 7-8 continue, "With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to
men, Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the
Lord, whether he be bond or free." The Jews were under bondage. Whether bond or free,
they must do service as unto the Lord.
Jesus spoke of this spirit in our text, "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a
mile, go with him twain." That is the spirit of the law which Jesus is teaching: the
spirit of subjection, submission to those whom the Lord has placed over them. We see an
implication of this in our text in our places of employment today. Many people rush to
arrive exactly at 7:59, they punch in at eight o'clock, and it's legal because they go to
work at eight o'clock. As an employer, I have seen people come in and head first for the
time clock. After they punch in, they leisurely take their coat off, go to the bathroom,
and get ready for employment. Often it is twenty minutes before they pick up the first
What the Lord is saying in our text is that they should come in at twenty minutes to
eight, hang up their coat, go to the bathroom, and get themselves ready so at five minutes
before eight they are ready to pick up their tools. When they punch the time clock, they
should be ready for work! We see the same attitude at five o'clock, quitting time. At
quarter to five they are already starting to put their tools away, washing their hands,
getting their hat and coat on so they can be standing there watching the clock strike
5:00. Then they can trip the time clock and be out the door. They are doing the bare
Joseph walked the extra mile. He was in prison; he was not compelled to do anything.
Joseph rendered service as unto the Lord and went from the prison to the throne. He was
walking in the spirit of Christ. God's Word says, "With good will doing service, as
to the Lord, and not to men, Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same
shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free," EPH 6:8. Scripture teaches
this spirit of submission as submission unto the Lord from beginning to end.
Now I want to deal with something that I have found to be tremendously important. The
Apostle Paul brings forth so beautifully that rebellion was the devil's device to separate
God and man. We must wrestle against that spirit of rebellion. Most significant to our
point is EPH 6:10-12 says, "Finally, [Take special notice of this word.] my brethren,
be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that
ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh
and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness
of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
The Apostle Paul was telling these people something tremendously important when he came
to that word "Finally." The chronology in which we find these admonitions is
very significant. The Apostle's exhortation began in EPH 5:13-16. His exhortation is to
"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God," EPH 5:21. Then his
exhortation goes to the wives, to the husbands, to the children, to the fathers, to the
servants, to the masters, all individually. His seventh exhortation says "Finally, my
brethren..." This exhortation is to the church, to the brethren. It is an exhortation
to submission and about wrestling against the wiles of the devil and putting on the whole
armour of God. What are the wiles of the devil? They are temptations to rebel. Let's take
notice of this chronology.
In EPH 5:13-16 we read, "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the
light: [By what? By your walk of life! Your walk of life is the light of the world.] for
whatsoever doth make manifest is light. [In other words, whatever reveals the spirit of
your heart, your walk of life, is the light you are shining.] Wherefore he saith, Awake
thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then
that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, [You are becoming a light to the
world by your walk of life. Are you walking in rebellion and grumbling and murmuring? Are
you walking in the Spirit of Christ?
This whole exhortation deals with submission; it cautions against the wiles of the
devil, i.e., the temptation to rebel.] Redeeming the time, because the days are
evil." 1PE 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Satan wants to work
rebellion in our hearts. The emphasis of this exhortation is to walk in the spirit of
The Apostle Paul begins his exhortation in EPH 5:20-21, "Giving thanks always for
all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting
yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Paul qualifies this exhortation as he
goes from here through Eph. 6:12. Paul's first exhortation of "...submitting
yourselves one to another in the fear of God," goes to the wives as the type of the
church. We are not just pointing at the wives here; we are pointing to the wife as a type
of the church. We are to see the woman in subjection to her husband as Christ is looking
for His church to be in subjection as His bride. So it is the type of the church that is
being emphasized here. It doesn't mean that the woman has to be in subjection while
everyone else walks in rebellion.
The submission of the church unto Christ is symbolized by the meekness and submission
of the wife to her husband. EPH 5:22-24 says, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own
husbands, as unto the Lord. [As unto the Lord--that is what the Jews were overlooking.]
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he
is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the
wives be to their own husbands in every thing." It is a visible preaching for women
to walk in true submission to their husbands.
Paul's second exhortation to submission goes to the husband. The husband is to be in
subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ because the man is the head of the woman as Christ is
the head of the man. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the
church, and gave himself for it, [Now we get into the subjection of the husband to the
headship of Christ.]...So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that
loveth his wife loveth himself," EPH 5:25-28. Christ loved His church, and in loving
His church, He loved Himself because the church is His body.
The Apostle Paul's third exhortation to submission is to the children. "Children,
obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is
the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live
long on the earth," EPH 6:1-3. The first commandment with promise calls for
subjection and submission to the parents. The Apostle Paul teaches through all of this
exhortation to submit yourselves one to another as unto the Lord.
Paul's fourth exhortation to submission is to the fathers, i.e., to the parents. In the
original, the word fathers as used in EPH 6:4, means parents with fathers as a
second meaning. This is an exhortation to the parents to be in subjection to the Lord.
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord," EPH 6:4. This is an exhortation to the fathers
and mothers to be in subjection to the Word of God in the bringing up of their children.
They are not to rebel against the will or the Word of God.
The fifth exhortation to submission is to servants. "Servants, be obedient to them
that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of
your heart, as unto Christ. Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of
Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; [We are all servants of the Lord if we are
of the body of Christ.] With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord,
whether he be bond or free," EPH 6:5-8. Every servant of Christ must not serve God as
a manpleaser, i.e., to be seen by men, but doing the will of God from the heart.
"With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men."
The Apostle Paul's sixth exhortation to submission is to the employer. EPH 6:9 says,
"And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that
your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him." So the
masters are called into subjection and submission to the will of God; they are to deal
gently and kindly with their servants according to the Golden Rule: "Therefore all
things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is
the law and the prophets," MAT 7:12. The Apostle Paul is exhorting the masters to be
in subjection even as he was exhorting the husbands to love their wives and deal gently
and lovingly with them.
Now we come to the seventh exhortation, and in Scripture, the number 7 is the symbol of
perfection. We are coming to the summary. He starts out by saying, "Finally..."
He has set these six illustrations out to the brethren. They are to the church to flee the
devil's devices to work rebellion against these exhortations to submission. "Finally,
my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour
of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." EPH 6:10-12.
Right in the context of this whole exhortation of submission, the Apostle is talking to
the church, to the beloved, to the brethren. He is saying that they should be strong in
the Lord and in the power of his might. He is exhorting them to beware of that spirit of
rebellion. He has been exhorting and preaching the spirit of submission to each member of
the body of Christ, touching each member of the body of Christ individually. Then he comes
to the body, my brethren, and says beware. Beware of that spirit of rebellion because it
is from the devil. "...Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil." There isn't one of the devil's wiles that doesn't
have a spirit of rebellion connected with it. The Apostle Paul is teaching us to beware of
this and to follow after Christ. He is teaching us to walk in a spirit of submission to
the Lord in the sight of men so that we become a light to the world.
Oh, beloved, there is such a wrestling match between the spirit of submission and the
spirit of rebellion. It is a constant wrestling match; it is a constant struggle; it is a
constant spiritual warfare. Rebellion was born in the Garden of Eden. Paul says in V:12,
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in
high places." The author of confusion uses everyone of these elements which we
wrestle against to instill rebellion in the heart of man. The Apostle is cautioning us of
This spirit of submission is what Jesus is teaching in our text: "And whosoever
shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from
him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away," MAT 5:41-42. The Lord Jesus is
teaching the spirit of love. What is the spirit of love but the spirit of sacrifice? It is
the spirit of sacrificing self. If a man says to me that he loves his wife, but he will
not sacrifice anything for her, then I'd have to say that he doesn't know what love is. If
a man says he loves his friend, neighbour, country, or the church and he can't sacrifice
one thing for them, then his love is pretty shallow.
This is what we are talking about in our text--that spirit of love that would give to
them that ask of you and you do not turn away from them that would borrow from you. As
servants of Christ we are to go that extra mile, "Not with eyeservice, as
menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,"
EPH 6:6. We are not to blow a trumpet before us when we come to do alms before the Lord;
we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand does. We are not to do this in a
There is also an exhortation to submission to church leadership. We have to think about
this. HEB 13:17 says, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:
for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with
joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." This admonition is
violated so horribly in these days. So many people say they don't need to attend any
church they feel they are leading a good life. They say they have watched the way
Christians, and as a result they believe it's better to sit home than join such people,
these Christians. They say it's better not to go to church.
I talked to a man recently who had this philosophy. He said, "I see them paying
their tithes, making their confessions; I see them doing their things, then I watch them
through the week and their lives do not correspond with their profession. All they have is
a worship of ritual. I became so disgusted with it, I stopped going to church."
Coming into subjection to church leadership in a church of the Lord, is very important.
People who say they will go to heaven because they are living a good life do not
understand the gospel of Christ. The gospel teaches that we are not able to live a good
life; we need a substitute; we need the blood of Christ to wash us from our sins. And now
it says here, "...and submit yourselves for they watch for your souls."
Again, it is the Lord who has placed the leaders of the church in their respective
offices. If they are of the Lord, the Lord has sent them. They have been put in a place of
authority as well as in a place of leadership. You must submit yourselves, "... for
they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy,
and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." The Lord sets His servants as
the watchmen for your souls.
EZE 3:17 says, "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel:
therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me." When the Lord
speaks to his church, he most often speaks through His servants. Why? The Lord has
ordained that we may not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. The Lord has
ordained the assembly of the church, and the Lord uses His ordained means to bring His
My experience has been many a time to struggle throughout the whole week, praying,
reading the Bible, seeking the Lord, and then come in the sanctuary on the Sabbath day,
and all was made plain. That is where the Lord chose to give deliverance. That was the
place of His instituting. Now He says, "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto
the house of Israel." That doesn't mean He is going to give that eye to every person,
but He gives it to His watchman. What is a watchman? A watchman is one who stands upon the
wall, and he watches to see if an enemy is approaching. If he sees the enemy, he blows the
trumpet. What is the trumpet? The trumpet is the gospel. He sets His watchmen on the wall,
and if they see a sin that is approaching the city, if they see a sin that is coming into
the church, they must blow the trumpet--they must give warning of the Lord. "...and
give them warning from me." In other words, they must unfold the Word of God and set
forth His warning.
The Lord hated Esau, who was a self-seeker, but He loved Jacob who halted upon his
thigh. The Lord hated Esau who was the type of the harlot church. Esau was seeking his
salvation in his own strength. The Lord loved Jacob, the one who halted upon his thigh.
What thigh did he halt upon? It was the one that the Lord had touched. It was that sinew
that shrank that taught Christ's church, as Jacob, that he had no strength in himself; his
only strength was in the Lord.
Our attitude, by nature, is the same as the Jew who was compelled to carry the baggage
for the Roman, i.e., resentful, bitter, complaining. That is the nature of man as a result
of the fall in Adam. "We wrestle not with flesh and blood" but with those powers
of Satan tempting us to be as the Jews who would slam down that baggage when his thousand
paces were finished. Satan tempts us to do the bare minimum and slam it down to show our
resentment. That is the spirit that is in man by nature. But the Lord wants us to walk
that extra mile. The Jews were resentful, bitter, complaining, grumbling, not going a step
farther than they were compelled.
In V:42 Jesus illustrates one more principle which calls for self-sacrifice. That is
the spirit of the law of love. In MAT 5:42 we read, "Give to him that asketh thee,
and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." Natural man does not see
his possessions as loaned to him by the Lord, but as something he has earned. This is you
and I by nature. When we have gained some assets through our labor, by the sweat of our
brow, then we put a tag on that as mine. I earned it by my hard work, but that is
not the Spirit of the Lord.
When we see rightly, we can say with the Psalmist in PSA 50:7 and 10, "Hear, O my
people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy
God...For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills."
What we have to understand is that everything that we have, that we claim is only a loan
from the Lord. He has lent it to us to use for His service. The cattle, the gold, the
silver are the Lord's.
When He tells you to loan it to your fellow man, He is instructing you, as His steward,
as to what He wants you to do with that which is the Lord's. It is not ours. We have to
understand that when we lend unto our neighbour; the Lord's blessing is upon us, for it is
lending as unto the Lord. We are not lending it to a person; we have to get our eye off
the people. We focus our eyes on Christ.
PSA 50:14-15 says, "Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most
High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify
me." I want you to see a connection between those two verses. First, He tells us what
to do, then He follows it with "call upon me." Do you know what He is really
saying? If you haven't obeyed V:14, don't bother about V:15. Something to think about,
isn't it. "Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: and call
upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me." We
must pay our vows. The Lord wants us to bring the first fruits of our increase. He doesn't
want to have a little bit if there is some left. EXO 23:19 says, "The first of the
firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God."
The Lord is so pleased with submission which comes from a motive of love. He says in
MAL 3:10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in
mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the
windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to
receive it." This is what is meant where the Psalmist said, "Offer unto God
thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: [This comes first! Then God says,] And
call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
If we have observed what the Lord tells us to do, when we are in trouble, the Lord will
hear and answer us.
Our text says in MAT 5:42, "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would
borrow of thee turn not thou away." This lending is not only to those who are of the
brethren. LUK 6:34-36 says, "And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what
thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye
your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; [The Lord is telling us to
walk that extra mile. After you have fulfilled what you must do, now lend to that
"Roman soldier" not just to your brethren. Love your enemies and do good and
hope for nothing.] and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the
Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. [The Lord is telling us why
we should go the extra mile. If we learn to understand the unthankfulness and evil of our
own hearts, if we see what the Lord has done for us, and we see how graciously He has
bestowed His blessings upon us, then we will understand the Spirit of Christ. Then we will
understand how even those who have come against us, even those who have gone out to
destroy us--our enemies--are the ones we are to help. When we see them in trouble we lend
them a helping hand. That is not always money. It could also be an expression of love for
a frown.] Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." When we see the
evil and unthankfulness of our own hearts and how we have rewarded the Lord for what He
has done for us, then we can't find a person we can't help.
In my own experience, there has been so many times that the Lord has granted me the
privilege of helping those who have gone out of their road to destroy me. It is one of the
most blessed feelings when the Lord grants such a privilege to go and substantially help
those who came to destroy one. It brings such a loving spirit in return. Those people who
receive help in such times will come to you with such brokenness of spirit. LUK 6:36 says,
"Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."
The Lord loves a cheerful giver. He doesn't want us to give grudgingly; He wants us to
do it as unto the Lord. 2CO 9:7 says, "Every man according as he purposeth in his
heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful
giver." The Lord wants us to give out of love, generosity, and self-sacrifice even to
those who have come to destroy us.
Jesus said in LUK 3:11, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath
none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise." The spirit of the law in the Old
Testament was perverted by the scribes and Pharisees; Jesus used these principles to
contrast with their teachings. The scribes and Pharisees were perverting the Word of God
with this "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." Jesus teaches us that if
somebody is your enemy, and has gone out to destroy you, you turn around and help him and
lend to him and be merciful to him. Look at the teaching of the Old Testament in PSA 41:1,
"Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of
trouble." There is nothing new in what Jesus is teaching. King Solomon said in PRO
19:17, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; [Isn't that beautiful.
That was the Scripture, the doctrine, the spirit of the Old Testament.] and that which he
hath given will he pay him again."
You know something? The Lord has never failed to repay what we give to the poor. I read
in a newspaper just before his death, J. C. Penney was asked how much money he had given
to the Lord. He said that he had never kept books with the Lord. Then he was asked if the
amount he had given had any affect on his assets. He replied, "Yes, the Lord always
restored me double." That was a tremendous testimony to have in a public newspaper.
Jesus taught a spirit of self-sacrifice to contrast with the revengeful spirit taught
by the scribes and Pharisees. MAT 5:38-42 tells us, "Ye have heard that it hath been
said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [This was given in the Old Testament to
set forth the principles of justice in the courts of law to insure that punishment would
be equal to the crime. They perverted it into a doctrine of revenge.] But I say unto you,
That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him
the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him
have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give
to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."
The Lord wants that spirit of love. The law is the law of love. The Ten Commandments
have two tables. The first four commandments are love God above all with all of your heart
and soul and mind. The second table of the law is the last six commandments--love your
neighbour as yourself. There isn't one transgression of the first four commandments that
you can violate without breaking the first table of the law. There isn't one of the last
six commandments that you can violate without having violated loving your neighbour as
yourself. This is what the Lord Jesus is teaching--the law of love. The word
"love" properly understood is the law of sacrifice, self-sacrifice. Amen.