Yesterday we talked about how Jesus teaches us to respond to injustice when someone steals from us. Today, I want to look at the third and final illustration He gives about acting lovingly towards our enemies: give them more than they ask for! Allow me to explain:
In Jesus’ day, Roman soldiers would often walk down the road with a heavy pack that held their armor and other items. Sometimes they would see a random person and say, “Hey you, take this!” and force them to carry the weight of their load, even though it wasn’t theirs to carry. Obviously, this was an injustice and anyone put in that position would naturally be upset. However, Jesus used this illustration to teach us how to transform oppression into an opportunity to love. Rather than viewing mistreatment as a chance to get even, our Savior taught us to turn it into hospitality, an act that was extremely uncommon in the Roman world. Instead of “powering up” in response to someone or something by overreacting, the Lord gives us a more productive way — over-serve instead.
Friend, there is no more revolutionary, awesome and wonderful thing you can do than to not fight back when you are mistreated. By no means does this require that you endure abuse, but when Jesus lives in your heart, you have the power to respond to mistreatment by going the extra mile. When you show love to those who least deserve it, you heap burning coals on their head (Romans 12:20) and prove to them that your God is greater than their perceived power! Isn’t that wonderful news?