There are many things that changed from The Old Covenant to The New Covenant. The way we see the laws, the meaning of the rules, and often whether those laws apply to us. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the purpose of those laws and how we express our love for the Lord and treat our brothers and others. Remember that the entire law hinges on and is covered by two laws. Jesus said it in Matthew 22:37-40
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Leviticus 25 talks about how we are to treat one another in the love of brotherhood. We are to take care of each other. Verses 35-38 read,
“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. 36 Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. 37 You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.”
We are responsible for one another. We can’t just let a brother suffer. Note also that we are to treat the stranger, the outsider with kindness and hospitality as well. Jesus said to love another as He loves us. Paul wrote to the church at Galatians in chapter 6 verses 8-10,
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
We have a special responsibility toward our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are one body, united, so if one of our brothers has a problem it affects us all. It is our problem. We are to bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
We don’t care for our brother for our own profit. We care for them without profit. We can lend him money, but we are not to charge interest. We lend not to become richer on earth, but to edify and build one another up. We know our treasure is in Heaven. We know we have all the riches of God. we don’t look for monetary repayment, or any other kind of repayment. The good we do for others does bless us but that isn’t why we do it.
We have the same Lord. We have the same Father. We have the Same Spirit. Enslaving a brother is enslaving ourselves. God gave him freedom just as He gave us freedom. Slavery comes in many forms. Lording over another the “gifts” you’ve given and the “good” you’ve done for them puts them in your servitude. We serve one another out of love and freedom, not to oppress and not to gain. Verses 39-43 says,
“If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave: 40 he shall be with you as a hired worker and as a sojourner. He shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee. 41 Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and go back to his own clan and return to the possession of his fathers. 42 For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.43 You shall not rule over him ruthlessly but shall fear your God.”
It is our healthy fear of The Lord, our deep respect for Him that allows us to submit to one another. We don’t expect others to submit to us. We submit to others as a manifestation of love. That is humility. The ability to think of others more highly than ourselves. Philippians 2:1-5 says,
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,”
Remember loving one another as Jesus loves us is epitomized in our unity. The early church carried that out by making sure there were no needy among them. When someone had a need, it was met. One person didn’t eat filet mignon while his brother begged for a crust a bread. We are one body, a community, and a family. We are of one household. God never told us to stop our unity or stop caring for each other. Acts 2:42-47 describes the early church. It should describe us as well.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”