Unfortunately, the results of such advice were not recorded. We will never know what the Roman soldier’s face looked like as a Jewish Christian asked to carry his heavy stuff for another mile. It was the law that they were to only to go a maximum of one mile. The carrier would have been asking the Roman to break the law in order that he might serve him more! How radical is that?!
In the above passage Jesus also urges that if someone tries to steal the coat off your back to give them your cloak as well. If you think this type of thing was a secondary aspect of His gospel, and that it isn’t all that important or worth taking serious note of, think again. In the 3rd chapter of Luke, John the Baptist comes onto the scene preparing the people for the coming Kingdom. He calls his listeners to repentance. He quotes the prophet Isaiah as he hopefully and confidently declares that all will be made right by the Salvation (Jesus Christ) of God. He angrily urges them not to be confident in their Abrahamic blood line-God doesn’t care and doesn’t need it. The crowd is compelled to ask what they should do. The very first thing John replies with, the very first thing, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” They must have been thinking, ‘that’s it?’ Give what I have to the poor. Share with my neighbors and community? Take care of the poor? Really? Yes! Really? You mean it’s not sending my money to the TV preacher? Or ordering a prayer cloth? Or even praying the Prayer of Jabez everyday? Coats? I have a bunch of coats! What am I doing with all of them?!
What if we did live peculiar? What if we did love our enemies? What if we did give ourselves and our lives away? Now I know this may seem a little novel (!), but again, what if Jesus was serious when in the 15th chapter of John he says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Isn’t that exactly what He did? Yes, it is.