During New Testament times, Roman soldiers had the authority to compel any Hebrew boy twelve years or older to carry his heavy military pack one mile in any direction. The Jews already hated this occupying force and this law added insult to injury. Jesus taught his disciples to carry it two miles. Carrying the pack for one mile was simply doing what was expected of them, but going the second mile provided the opportunity to witness when the soldier would ask, “Why are you doing this?”
Our willingness to “go the second mile” is one of the most persuasive ways of demonstrating the love of Christ and our willingness to forgive.