Matthew 5:41, Jesus and Nonresistance

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

//This verse sounds like it encourages camaraderie. If someone requests your presence to walk a mile, walk with him two. I used to read it this way.

But this is surely not what Jesus meant. Read it in context: If somebody hits you on the cheek, turn the other one to him. If someone takes you to court to take away your coat, give him your cloak, too. And now today’s verse: If someone demands that you help him, do so willingly … in fact, do double what he demands.

In Jesus’ day, Roman soldiers had the legal right to impress the labor of Jewish residents. Jesus is commending loving service without resistance, even to your enemy. Thus, the New Living Translation translates this verse this way:

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.

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