But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. Matthew 12:2
Read Matthew 9:32-34
The Pharisees had made many rules and regulations which were to be observed alongside the Ten Commandments. Included in these regulations were thirty-nine prohibitions with respect to Sabbath observance. Attached to these prohibitions were all kinds of other restrictions. This systematization of the law was far-fetched. The Pharisees observed all these rules, but at the same time they were guilty of doing things that were contrary to the law. They regarded the picking of a few ears of corn by hand as harvesting and the rubbing of a few kernels in one’s hands as threshing. Therefore they went to Christ and accused the disciples of breaking the law. Calvin rightly states that they were actually accusing the Saviour Himself of breaking of the law, for He saw His disciples picking, threshing and eating grain. He allowed them to do what, according to the Pharisees, was prohibited.
According to these religious leaders, the Lord Jesus should have warned His disciples and forbidden them to eat the grain. But the Pharisees hated Christ and were also intent on trying to find something of which they might accuse Him, that they might judge Him. They looked carefully at everything Jesus did, but not so they could be edified, for they had no love for Him and His mission. This became very apparent in Matthew 9:34, when they accused Him of casting out devils through the prince of the devils, Beelzebub.
Only when love is present are we able to see things in a proper manner. Then alone will we also desire to perform God’s will. By nature no one is willing to obey the law of God. Only by grace, through God’s love, will we be made willing to fulfill His commandments.
Thought: When true love to the Lord is absent, we lack everything.
Psalter 323:1,4 (based on Psalm 119) Thy servant, blessed by Thee, shall live And keep Thy word with awe; Lord open Thou my eyes to see, The wonders of Thy law. I on Thy statutes meditate, Tho’ evil men deride; Thy faithful word is my delight, My counselor and guide.