When Jesus arrived, He signaled an end to the old way of approaching God through the Temple Model and the beginning of something brand new. In the previous messages of this series, we have been discussing the differences and importance of the new way of relating to God.
Part of the reason blending the Temple Model with the new Jesus Model is a problem is because the Temple Model is centered on you. At the heart of the Temple Model is a good question initially, but not a very good question eventually, "What must I do or believe to make things and keep things right between God and me?" At the end of the day, my religion is all about ME! This impacts how we pray, why we attend church, why some of us give & obey. Eventually this gravitates to rules & rituals. Eventually as followers of Jesus, we have to move beyond what's in it for me.
In Matthew 12:1-14, Jesus uses the Jewish observation of the Sabbath as an illustration of how the focus on rules & rituals can reveal our motivations that point back to us. That is where the Jesus Model is different. The Jesus Model is centered on the person beside you. Throughout the New Testament, we are invited to love people the way that our Heavenly Father through Jesus has loved us. God's love for us and for those around us must inform our consciences & shape our behaviors.
While the Jesus Model might be less complicated, it is far more demanding. Central to our faith is a man, who would willingly walk into a city knowing He would be killed there because He loved us. While it can be very easy to find loopholes & hiding places in the Temple, it is hard to find a loophole around John 15:12, Luke 6:27-28, and Galatians 5:6.
What does love require of me?