It is easier to “honour those in authority” when we believe that they are knowledgeable, fair and reliable. But we are not likely to feel this way toward those in authority if they are unfair, unreliable and prone to making foolish decisions.
Today we will look at a very unusual case of a Naaman’s little maid. In 2 Kings 5:1-7 it is recorded that a young girl was captured by the Syrian army and taken to the household of Naaman, a captain of the host of the king of Syria. Naaman had all the knowledge, skill, wealth and respect he could hope for but he had leprosy (Hansen’s disease). The little maid told Naaman’s wife that he would be healed if he visited the prophet in Israel. Based on the word captive maid, Naaman the wealthy and powerful military leader goes to his king for permission to visit the prophet in the land of their enemy Israel!
Consider this little girl as a slave in the household, cruelly snatched from her home, far away from her parents, siblings, family and friends in a strange land. Despite her unfortunate situation she shared the good news, the life changing power of God working through the prophet Elisha, for the benefit of her captor!
She could have spent her time thinking of how much she hated her new home, how much she hated those who took her away from her parents or how she hated being a slave. But she wanted the best of her captor and even recommended the only solution for his problem. She must have come from a home where love and forgiveness was demonstrated.
The Jews were expecting Jesus as the Messiah to speak against Roman ruler in Judea and they expected him to prove he was the Messiah by staging a coup and overthrow them but he did not.
In Matthew 5: 41, Jesus tells the multitude of oppressed Jews “If a solider compels you to carry his gear one mile, carry it two miles“(NIV). Roman soldiers would command Jewish civilians to carry their gear as they needed or saw fit. Do you think they asked nicely? Instead of resisting the cruel, rough speaking soldiers, Jesus ask the oppressed civilians to go the extra mile. This is where the phrase ‘go the extra mile’ comes from.
Go the extra mile not because the often cruel soldiers deserved respect or because the Jews forgot the massacre of all boys under the age of two, thirty years prior (remember the deeds of Herod the King when Jesus was born).
Go the extra mile because…you are the children of your Father which is in heaven who makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward do you have? Do not the publicans do the same…Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5 :45,46, 48)
God is good to those who are evil and to those who are good and we should follow His example. I will honour those in authority because I am a child of our Father which is in heaven.
Better you, better me, better T&T