THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 7-24-05
LESSON TITLE: "GREAT LESSONS FROM THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: GOING THE EXTRA MILE"
Good morning, and thanks for joining us for the study of God's Living Word! We are glad you have put God first this day and decided to give this time to Him. It will be our privilege this morning to sing songs of praise, to study His precious Word, and to approach the throne of God in prayer. So, at this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me please!
Let's begin immediately with our songs of praise. The first song of the morning reminds us of the fact that we always have a home if we are children of the King. In fact, this song goes further to teach us that our home is anywhere that God is. So won't you do your part in worship to God at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Anywhere Is Home!"
(SONG # 1)
There are many passages which are misunderstood or misapplied in the scriptures. One such passage that men often misuse is found in 1 Corinthians 9:20-22. There we read, "and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law..., that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." I can't tell you how many times people have abused Paul's teachings here to indicate that somehow we are to engage in or take on any characteristics of this life. They go further to say we can even participate in sin to be like those around us, so we may be able to reach them with the gospel of Christ.
However, that is not at all what Paul is confirming in this passage. What he was trying to help the Corinthian brethren with, was the idea that we must be ready and prepared to deal with every soul we meet from where they are in their life. For example, if I were to study with a Jew, I would need to start with the fact that Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God - the Messiah. I would not have to prove to them who God the Father was, since they already believe that fact. On the other hand, if I were studying with a Gentile, I would need to start at the very beginning, like "who is God," and "why should we believe that He is real."
The great lesson Paul helps us with in these passages is to understand that we must work with all men and teach them from where they are in this life, taking into account their religious knowledge, their background, their culture, their upbringing, etc. Then and only then can we be truly effective in helping someone to know Jesus the Christ.
Have you been diligent in and willing to become all things to all men in your Christian walk. If not you need to begin practicing this precious truth which is comes directly from the Word of God.
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our speaker, we are happy to have brother Andy Heavin with us this morning. Brother Andy is a graduate of the Bible Institute of Missouri and he has been hired as the minister for the Edgar Springs Church of Christ, around Rolla, Missouri. I am very proud of this fine young man and thankful for his desire and ability to proclaim God's Truth. And at the appropriate time, we look forward to brother Andy leading us in our main study of God's Word.
As far as our lesson topic of the day will again focus on our series entitled, "Great Lessons From The Sermon On The Mount!" The specific lesson of the day will deal with, "Going The Extra Mile!" So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes brother Heavin will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "Be With Me Lord."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Andy Heavin
Good morning. If you've tuned in with us the last few weeks, you've heard some great sermons from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. This morning, we will continue focusing on Jesus' sermon here in Matthew chapter 5 and we'll specifically look at verses 38-42. We want to consider what it means to go the extra mile this morning. As we look at this and we consider being Christians and followers of Christ, we think about being obedient and faithful and these things such as this, blameless and pure and holy, things that we need to be as Christians in our lives and especially in going the extra mile.
And considering the context of our lesson this morning, we look back to Matthew chapter 5 and we see several different things. Around verse 13, Jesus tells us we need to be the salt of the earth. We need to be lights shining in the world. In verse 21-26, He talks about how we should not be angry for no cause against a brother. Then He goes on in verses 27-30 and He's talking about marriage and divorce and how these things are sacred and how we need to avoid adultery and the lusts of this world and doing such things. So Jesus spends a great time of outlining to His followers, His disciples, how they should live in this life and what it means to be righteous before God because the Pharisees and the scribes of this time were misusing and misapplying the law, God's law. And so we want to consider these things as we consider the theme of Jesus talking about being righteous before God.
So let us turn to Matthew chapter 5 this morning and read verses 38-42. "You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I tell you not to resist an evil person but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you and from him who wants to borrow from you, do not turn away."
So we can learn some very important lessons from these verses this morning and what I want to do is take a look at these verse by verse this morning and look at the context and the history behind these verses so we can tell what it is that Jesus is talking about.
There in verse 38, He mentions "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." This is a familiar verse or something maybe we are familiar with. This comes directly from the old law in Exodus 21:24. It is also found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. So no doubt something mentioned over and over. But this verse is to be applied to those making judgments. As we look back on the context of the Old Testament, this is a time whenever they were using this law, the judge as such maybe Moses or one of these, they would apply this law and they would carry out the execution much like a judge or somebody in trial today. And so it's not talking about personal revenge or getting vengeance in this, but it's in the context we should let the judicial system render the justice according to the laws of the land. When we look at this in context, we remember that Jesus has told us already to be lights in the world, that we should be the salt of the earth. So how would it look if we took revenge on somebody or didn't follow the law as God has commanded us to?
We look on in verse 39 continuing this thought. It says, "But I say to you not to resist an evil person." It says that, "if somebody slaps you on the cheek to turn the other cheek also to him." We should certainly oppose those who are evil, but not to the point where we are ready to take revenge or try to get even with them. Trying to get even might cause us to sin in our own lives. Think about somebody knocking out your tooth or giving you a black eye. It causes us to get angry and that anger might lead us to sin in some way that we wouldn't want to and we would be no better off than they are. So remember these things. In John chapter 18, Jesus, the ultimate example for us to live by, He says there in chapter 18 in verses 22 and 23, He tells us, He says, "And when he said these things, one of the officers who stood by, he struck Jesus with the palm of his hand saying, Do you answer to the High Priest like that? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil bear witness of the evil, but if well, why do you strike Me?" Jesus was questioning why they struck Him. If He had done evil, go ahead and punish Him, but if He had done nothing wrong, if He was telling the truth, then why were they striking Him on the cheek? And as we remember this during the time of Jesus' trial, when He was before these people He was being spit upon, mocked and beaten continuously. But did Jesus ever get up and strike them back or try to fight back with harsh words? He took the punishment and went on about His life and continued to be a great example.
And we also consider Jesus and how the Pharisees were always trying to trap Him and ask Him questions and trying to trip Him up, yet Jesus responded with great lessons out of love. In Matthew 23 we see such responses where Jesus was saying, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees," and all of these many different things, trying to teach them where they were wrong in there error instead of trying to fight back or trying to trip them up or get even as so many do. So we should never try in a way to get revenge or to do such things, but we should let things follow how they would according to the laws of our land.
As we continue on, we see here in verses 39 or excuse me, verse 40 about those who want to sue and take away your tunic. It says to "also give them your cloak." The old law forbid such an action. In Exodus chapter 22 verses 26-27, it says, "If you ever take your neighbor's garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down for it is his only covering. It is his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be when he cries to me, I will hear for I am gracious." So it would be a great sin to take away somebody's clothing or their tunic, and today the world wants to try to get even or try to do these things, and the lesson that we can learn from this is that when somebody goes to extreme measures or something to take away something from us, we should learn to endure such a thing because in the world we live in always says to get even for they are always looking to see how much money they can get out of somebody who has wronged them. But these things are a violation of what is being taught here in this lesson.
Then in verse 41 of our text this morning in Matthew 5, the main verse we want to focus around, it says, "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two." This is in reference back to the Roman government whenever they would compel somebody to go with them into public service. Maybe something like community service to do things for the Roman government. This act by the Roman government was distasteful to the Jews, something that they didn't particularly like to do, especially the scribes and the Pharisees. So the command here, Jesus says to go with them two miles would require a cheerful compliance with the commands of a harsh government. Could you imagine the effect the scribes and the Pharisees would have had on the Jewish nation? These being the leaders of the Jewish people who knew the law and knew so many different things. Could you imagine the example they would have set had they gone two miles when they were compelled to go into service? But rather they would complain and grumble about these things instead of following the example that Jesus was trying to set here. Sometimes maybe we just need to swallow our pride and that's what Jesus was talking about here, trying to get them to swallow their pride, trying to get them to be His disciples, to be the salt of the earth, to be lights in the world, and going the extra mile would certainly show this in their lives.
Something else we might want to consider is that going the extra mile is something to do that we do to be righteous before God. The scribes and the Pharisees no doubt consider themselves to be a righteous people, but they would be willing to go out and get personal revenge, take things into their own hand and they would certainly not want to go that extra mile.
Jesus here in chapter 5 and verse 20, He says, "For I say to you that unless you are righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." So while these scribes and Pharisees might have had some deal of righteousness, we certainly want to think that our righteousness needs to be more than what they were showing, by showing the example of being a light and doing what we need to do in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
How many of us are willing to go that extra mile? I want to ask you that this morning. It seems that there are so many today who are unwilling to go that extra mile. No one respects the authority that is around them these days. They only do what they need to do to get by instead of putting in that extra effort. Few are willing to turn the other cheek and they would rather figure out a way where they can get even or to do whatever it takes to get even. These things, as we mentioned just a minute ago, are a violation of the principles taught here in Matthew chapter 5 in what Jesus was trying to teach to His disciples. We need to learn to only worry about today and not about tomorrow, and then when tomorrow gets here, not worry about what happened yesterday. We need to focus on the clear and present and how we can get the work of the Lord done.
So what can we do to insure that we go the extra mile in our lives as Christians? Certainly there in verse 42 it says to "Give to him who asks you and from him who wants to borrow, from him you do not turn away." No doubt, certainly a principle that Jesus illustrated many times in giving to those in need. In Matthew 25, He says that "a failure to help a stranger, the naked, the sick or the hungry is a failure to serve Him." So we certainly want to help and to give back where we can to those in need.
Also going the extra mile means being ready to defend the gospel of Christ. How do we react when somebody asks us a question about the Bible or they have a question about our beliefs and what we believe in? Or what do we do when we see somebody tearing down the gospel, trying to teach false doctrine and trying to degrade it? Do we turn the other way and let it pass by or are we ready to give them an answer just to appease them and let the situation pass by? We certainly need to go the extra mile and study to show them what it is they need to do. In 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 15-17, it talks about being ready to give a defense, being ready to stand for the gospel and being ready to give an answer to those who ask and certainly this is something that we need to do. This principle is again reiterated in 2 Timothy 2 and verse 15, "being diligent to study to show yourself approved unto God."
Going the extra mile is certainly going to be able to answer those questions. And making sure they understand the gospel of Christ and knowing the answers to the questions that they might have. Going the extra mile means being willing to sacrifice of our time, our efforts, and our lives for the gospel of Christ and doing those things that God wants us to do in His work. So many people are unwilling to give up this time in their lives. They're willing to work that overtime, to take their kids to the ball game, but when it comes to doing service for the Lord, people are scared. They don't want to get out and do these things. They say, "Well, I don't have the time." We need to make the time for the Lord. He has commanded that of us. We have a Savior who died on the cross for our sins, so we should be willing to give our lives back to Him and go the extra mile and that is the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus dying. That should want to motivate us and make us curious and want to do the work of the Lord in going the extra mile because of what God has done for us in giving His son for us.
Consider your life this morning. Examine it and see if you are going the extra mile. If not, repent and make things right in your life. Do what God has commanded you to do in going the extra mile.
Of course, if you have any questions this morning, we are always free to answer those questions for you, any that you might have, so please call or write The Living Word if you have any questions this morning. Thank you.
SONG # 3 - "Blessed Assurance!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an uplifting and an encouragement to all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Now let me ask, how do you react to the needs of those around you in this world? Do you turn and go the other way, or maybe you get by with doing as little as you can. It is my hope an prayer that we will all learn the lesson of Jesus and "go the extra mile!"