The Miracle Mile

Title: The Miracle Mile

Bible Book: Matthew 5 : 38-42

Author: Adrian Rogers

Subject: Christian Living; Second Mile



"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” (Matthew 5:38-42).

Jesus calls us to not only do what is required, but to go the extra mile. How can a Christian learn the joy of the selfless, Christ-filled life in such a selfish world? Christ calls us not to merely go one mile, but to go that extra mile - that miracle mile, the one that causes our lives to change.

I. The Principle Of The Miracle Mile

When Christ said these words, Palestine had been occupied by Rome for about one hundred years. The Romans had learned from the Persians to subjugate the people in order to use them to their advantage. The Romans would often order Jewish civilians to carry their burdens. The civilian was legally required to carry the load for one mile. The Jews hated it, so every Jewish boy marked off one milepost from his house and would refuse to carry a burden one step further. In this context, Christ told His followers that if they were commanded to carry weapons for one mile, they ought to carry the weapons an extra mile.

Heads must have turned when Jesus said those words. That was an abomination to the average Jew, and here was a preacher commanding them to do something extra to assist the army of occupation! But the principle Christ was trying to get people to grasp was that we must do more than is required by the law.

You can choose the level on which you’ll live your life. The hellish level returns evil for good. The human level returns good for good. But the heavenly level returns good for evil. Do more than expected. Go beyond the minimum morality. That’s the principle of the miracle mile.

II. The Practice Of The Miracle Mile

Christ isn’t calling us to be complete pacifists. The Bible is against anarchy and lawlessness. Instead, He is commanding us not to take revenge. Our job is to leave the responsibility for revenge in the hands of God, rather than taking on that responsibility for ourselves. Instead, we are to respond with love.

“If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (vv. 20-21). You and I are not to take personal revenge, but evil must be restrained. To make sure of that restraint, the Lord has allowed a justice system. First Peter 2:13-14 reads, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”

We live in a wicked society, and wicked men must be restrained by law. You cannot make someone love others by passing a law that says he has to ? so you legislate against immorality. Laws don’t make us good, but they do restrain the bad. So when the Lord says to turn the other cheek, He is not implying that you should not protect the innocent or allow evil to continue unabated. He is stating that you are not to take personal vengeance. God has a way of taking vengeance and protecting you. Love somebody who isn’t good to you, and you can really make an impact on this world!

III. The Power of the Miracle Mile

A. This Will Transform Your Life

When you begin to live out the commands of Christ in this passage, it will transform your life and give you joy and power. First, it will change your attitude. The first mile is the slave mile. You are required to go the first mile and you hate it every step of the way. But the second mile is the smile mile. You are doing it out of love. In the first mile you are the victim, but in the second, the victor. In the first you are being controlled, but in the second you are controlling. The first mile is the law, but the second is the love of God. The first mile can make you bitter, but the second gives you joy and peace. That second mile completely changes your attitude. You go from drudgery to victory. The first mile you’re doing because you have to, but the second mile you do because you want to. Your attitude changes from conquered to conquering.

B. This Will Make You A Success

Second, living out this command will make you a success. All successful people participate in the second mile. The reason some Christians aren’t successful in their devotions is because they are “first milers.” They want to do five minutes of Bible reading, and as soon as the five minutes are up, they close their Bibles. They’re doing what is required, but that’s all. Their hearts aren’t in it. The people who really develop their spiritual lives go the extra mile.

The people who succeed in business take that same approach. It makes no difference what you do, you have to be a second miler. That’s what makes you a success.

C. This Will Be A Key To Better Relationships

Third, the miracle mile is the key to better relationships. It’s impossible to be effective for Jesus without going that extra mile. Imagine if you are a first-century Christian, and you are commanded by a Roman soldier to carry his spear and heavy backpack. What a perfect opportunity to reveal Christ to someone else! You gladly carry the soldier’s burden, and after you’ve gone one mile, you keep going. The soldier, rather than being angry, is surprised. By going the second mile, you completely alter the relationship. Perhaps it gives you the opportunity to tell him about Jesus Christ, something he would never hear anywhere else.

That extra mile will make a difference in your relationships at work or at school, or in your home. Jesus went that extra mile. In fact, all His life was an extra mile, walked on our behalf. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He paid the penalty for our sin, though He didn’t deserve it. He went the extra mile for you, and He is asking you to do the same for others.


1. Do you think we live in a self-centered society?

What makes you think so? How does advertising promote self-centeredness? Why is self-centeredness in opposition to Christianity?

2. What does Christ call us to do in Matthew 5:38-48?

How does carrying someone’s burden or adding a sweater when sued for a coat reveal your faith? What mistake were the Pharisees making in meeting the minimum standards?

2. Do you ever find yourself responding the same way as the Pharisees?

Name one situation in your life in which you could go the extra mile. What will be the result, according to that passage? What difference would that make to someone else? What difference would it make if someone did that for you?

3. Does Christ command us never to defend ourselves?

Why or why not? What does Paul say about obeying the law in Romans 12:17- 13:4? How can we overcome evil with good?

5. What command does Peter give us in 1 Peter 2:13-17?

What will be the result according to that passage? From a Christian perspective, why do we have laws and a justice system?

6. What do the following passages have to say about our attitudes as Christians?

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

1 Timothy 6:17-18

Titus 2:1-13

James 2:1-17

1 John 3:17-18

7. How does going the extra mile produce joy?

How can it change a relationship? Where is God calling you to go the extra mile?

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