Lev 19:17 “You will not hate your brother in your heart, but you will reason frankly with your associate, or you will be responsible for a mistake because of him.
Lev 19:18 You will not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you will love your neighbour as yourself: I am Yahveh.
Lev 19:19 “You will keep my prescriptions. You will not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You will not plant your field with two kinds of seed, nor will you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.
reflecting God’s particular purity
Obeying the previous commands enabled the Israelites to reflect the fact that Yahveh created the whole world, and thus loves everyone the same. But this set of commands challenges the Israelites to see themselves as a particularly pure and set-apart people. They were to reflect the fact that their God is not like the other gods. They could show this difference by how they reacted when wronged by their brother, associate or neighbour. They could also show this difference symbolically by not mix-breeding their cattle, mix-planting their crops, or wearing clothing made of two different materials.
Under the new covenant, the symbolic ways of reflecting God’s purity are no longer required. But Jesus teaches a great deal about loving our neighbour, and about not reacting in anger and vengeance when we are wronged. In fact, he links the idea of loving our neighbour with reflecting God’s spiritual maturity, just like Moses does in Leviticus:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You should love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may show that you are just like your Father who is in the sky. Because he makes his sun rise on both the evil and on the good, and sends rain on both the just and on the unjust.Because if you only love those who presently love you, what wages are you earning? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you show hospitality to only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the other nations do that? You therefore must be spiritually mature, as your heavenly Father is spiritually mature. (Matt. 5:43-48 JDV)
LORD, make us mature enough to always reflect the difference between your pure love and the world’s mixed love.