The Sabbath came, and Jesus walked through a field. His disciples, who were hungry, began to pick some of the grain and eat it.
Pharisees: Look! Your disciples are breaking the law of the Sabbath!
Jesus: Haven’t you read what David did? When he and his friends were hungry, they went into God’s house, and they ate the holy bread, even though neither David nor his friends, but only priests, were allowed that bread. Indeed, have you not read that on the Sabbath priests themselves do work in the temple, breaking the Sabbath law yet remaining blameless? Listen, One who is greater than the temple is here. Do you not understand what the prophet Hosea recorded, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”? If you understood that snippet of Scripture, you would not condemn these innocent men for ostensibly breaking the law of the Sabbath. For the Son of Man has not only the authority to heal and cast out demons, He also has authority over the Sabbath.
Jesus left the field and went to the synagogue, and there He met a man with a shriveled hand. The Pharisees wanted to set up Jesus. (Matt 12:1-9. The Voice)
Eating grain didn’t break the law, however, picking the grain did, and the Pharisees knew it. Jesus was quick to point out that King David actually ate the showbread, that was kept for the priests alone. Even though they broke the law, they were declared blameless. Quoting Hosea, Jesus reminds them that God desires mercy more than sacrifice.
‘Bye, the way,’ Jesus says, ‘God is here in front of you, in the flesh, if only you realized it.’ He walks away leaving them with a conundrum, “For the Son of Man has not only the authority to heal and cast out demons, but He also has authority over the Sabbath.”
The Sabbath was instigated to give man a day to rest and worship God. Somehow it had been turned around, and the focus was about keeping the law.