Matthew, Chapter 12

- ע ל ם -

Pharisees Rebuke Jesus’ Disciples for Picking Wheat on Sabbath

1At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. 2But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 3But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 6But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. 9And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 10And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.(Matthew 12:1-13)

One Sabbath, Jesus travels across the Galilee together with his disciples. They become hungry and eat from the stalks of wheat they reap. Pharisaic sages witness this act and rebuke them for desecrating Sabbath. Jesus replies that the goal of keeping Sabbath is not to refrain from engaging in certain activities. Abstention should be a means for spiritual growth, while avoiding action altogether is a form of hypocrisy. Kindness, optimism, and spirituality are what truly matter, not rituals and sacrifices. It follows that we are always obligated to care for the sick, even on Sabbath; and, indeed, Jesus later heals a man with a withered hand on a different Sabbath. Jesus’ faith is pure and genuine. It centers around inner foundations and the sincere relationship between humans and God, not external appearances.

Integrity is honest and uncompromising adherence to our guiding moral principles.