I’m excited to share my blog tonight with a friend and brother Josh Reed. He is a gifted man with a love for his beautiful family, a knack for the outdoors, and a great beard – Enjoy!
Paul Harvey is arguably one of the greatest American storytellers. He had a way of telling a story quite often about a well-known person or fact that would leave you hanging onto every word. I remember growing up riding along with my dad in his truck listening to the radio broadcast. I remember how excited I was if I actually got to listen to the whole segment or “the rest of the story.” In case you’re not familiar with his broadcast, there was always a long break for a song or a commercial that left you waiting for the punchline.
Matthew 5:41 says, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”
While there a several implications here, Jesus was referring to specific Roman law. I’ll spare you all the details because you can find the history of these laws with just a few clicks on Google. Imagine going about your daily routine when suddenly you have to stop what you are doing and walk a mile with a complete stranger. Not only a stranger but, a Roman soldier who has legally just told you that you have to carry his gear for a mile. As if that is not enough, Jesus now tells us, “Go ahead and make it two.” What a kind, humbling, and Christ-loving gesture. That’s where the story ends for most.
For me, that’s where the rest of the story begins.
Sure, you can imagine the silence that might have been for the first mile. I’m sure you can even imagine what conversations might have been had on the second. But, now you’ve parted ways from your Roman oppressor and have a long walk back home. Jesus’ life has a similar outline. The first mile was His 33 years of life on earth. The second mile was from the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39 “let this cup pass from Me”) all the way through His crucifixion (Matthew 27:46 “WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”).
Jesus didn’t want to endure the pain and suffering but He did it anyway. He did it for you and He did it for me. Then he surpasses any other person on the face of the planet with His own Resurrection.
Right now, you are at a similar place on a similar journey and you might be feeling forced by your current circumstances. You might even be the one forcing someone alongside you. Maybe, you’re the one helping others out. Maybe, you’re feeling tired, or broken, or even lost. Eventually, you’ll be on your way home.
Take a moment to think about how all of those people whom you’ve passed along the way were, or are, affected. Think about the interactions and opportunities you will have. Think about how this journey will not only change your life but, those around you.
What will you do on your long walk home?