What does it mean to go the second mile?


2000 years ago, Roman law required a Jew to carry a soldiers’ pack one mile. Jews marked a mile in all directions from their home and would go not a step further. A rabbi spoke to a crowd about this deeply resented practice, “If someone forces you to go one mile…” They expected the rabbi to say this practice was unjust. Yet, the rabbi says, “…I tell you, go with him two miles.”

Like the Jews of the first century, we live in a one-mile world – a world of rights and responsibilities and minimum standards. Yet, the rabbi tells the people listening to him to be different, “You are now free to be surprising people. Do something unexpected when you encounter injustice – go beyond the one-mile radius, volunteer to meet evil with good, meet unfair with grace.”

Our aim is to take two-mile justice in a one-mile world.