Matthew 5:41-44
Mat 5:41 (KJB)
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
In ancient Rome, a soldier or official could compel a person to carry or help out in carrying something one Roman mile which was 4824 feet (1470 meters). Jesus is saying here that do not leave after going the one mile, instead offer to carry the items a second mile. The principle here is that the follower of Jesus is to go beyond what is basically required of them. This would apply to any situation but especially ministry. This principle would even apply on the job when the boss asks you to do something, go a little further and do a little extra. When Christians do these things, the unbelieving world takes notice and even if the lazy people chide you for it, don’t worry, you work for the Lord, not for them. We can see this principle alive in every missionary who are basically required to go a lot more than one extra mile and that is the mindset we must have. Christians should never be clock watchers trying to get by with doing as little work as possible.
Mat 5:42 (KJB)
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
When someone has something that another might need and they ask for it, then it should be given without hesitation. (1 John 3:17 KJV) But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? This is not only speaking about money but any of the world’s goods a Christian may have and another needs it. If someone wants to borrow something from you, then do not walk away in the sense that you refuse to help. There may be sometimes that you would be unable to loan something or give something, but tell the individual and then help them to procure what is needed. The love and kindness of the Christian must be the guiding factor in dealing with all people. Responding properly to giving and borrowing will keep one from becoming a materialistic Christian ruled by the spirit of hoarding. It teaches us the principle of generosity in giving and loaning to help others.
Mat 5:43 (KJB)
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
No doubt Jesus is quoting something from the Talmud in the last part of the verse. He is contrasting between the biblical command to love they neighbor and to hate thine enemy. (Lev 19:18 KJV) Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. The last part of that verse is not a part of the Mosaic law but part of Rabbinic law. The truth is that every unbeliever is the spiritual enemy of the true believer and if we followed the last half of that verse, then we would have to hate every unbeliever we come in contact with. This was the attitude of the Jews because they saw the Gentiles as being inferior to them, especially in their relations with the Greeks and the Samarians. The Sermon on the Mount was designed by Jesus to replace the old way of thinking with thinking in accord with what the Scriptures really teach.
Mat 5:44 (KJB)
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Despitefully - Insult, treat abusively, or revile
Jesus now contrasts the hate messages the people have received by the leaders over the years and gives them four basic changes of mind in dealing with those who will oppress them:
Love your enemies - This is not the phony Hollywood type of love but the true sacrificing type of love on behalf of someone who is the enemy of Christians. As I stated before, an unbeliever is still in the kingdom of Satan and is therefore the enemy of the Christian as Satan is the enemy of God. The highest form of love a Christian can show to an unbeliever is to bring him or her the Gospel desiring to see them become saved. Earthly goods will fade and be burnt up but salvation is for eternity and Christians who sacrifice time and personal wealth to see others come into the Kingdom of God are showing true Christian love to the enemies.
Bless them that curse you - A blessing is not just standing around and saying to the unbeliever “God bless you.” A blessing from God is an intervention in the life of His children. In the same manner that God blesses us, we are to bless or intervene in the life of those that curse us. A curse is when someone wishes evil upon you. It can even mean someone who is actually doing evil against you so the word goes beyond just words or malicious intent.
Do good to them that hate you - The word “good” carries with it the meaning of “correctly, well, or commendably.” All unbelievers, especially religious unbelievers will be in constant opposition to the message of the true Gospel. Since they cannot attack and change the message, they attack the messenger. The believer is to respond to them in such a manner that their hatred of us is returned with goodness. If we seek vengeance, then we only cause every matter to explode but if we repay hatred with goodness, then we disarm the enemy and we become instant witnesses for the Gospel and we also become a witness against their hatred. (Rom 12:18 KJV) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
And pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; - Nowhere in Scripture is this portrayed better than in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Luke 23:33-34 KJV) And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. {34} Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, He was praying for those who were doing it and asking for their forgiveness. A disciple who followed the example of Jesus was Stephen, when he was being stoned for telling the truth, he too prayed for his executioners. (Acts 7:60 KJV) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. The principle of praying for our enemy should be a part of every Christian’s lifestyle. Have you prayed for someone to be saved? Then you have prayed for the enemy. One day I was waiting at a red light and a woman in a car came up next to me and saw my bumper stickers. She told me that if she could, she would slit all four of my tires. Little did she know that her evil comments caused her to be added to my daily prayer list. She was from Pennsylvania and I live in New Jersey so I may never know the outcome until we are in glory. Nevertheless, you do not need to worry about outcome. You just obey and leave the results to God.