Mat_12:1-8 Christ alleges scripture in excuse of his disciples,
whom the Pharisees charged with breaking the sabbath
in plucking the ears of corn on the sabbath day.
Mat_12:9-13 He appeals to reason, and healeth the withered hand
on the sabbath day.
Mat_12:14-21 The Pharisees seek to destroy him: a prophecy of
Esaias fulfilled in him.
Mat_12:22,23 He healeth one possessed of a devil, who was blind
Mat_12:24-37 and confuting the absurd charge of his casting out
devils by Beelzebub, he showeth that blasphemy
against the Holy Ghost is an unpardonable sin, and
that every idle word must be accounted for.
Mat_12:38-45 He rebuketh those that sought of him a sign,
Mat_12:46-50 and showeth whom he regardeth as his nearest relations.
Mark relating this story, Mar_2:23, varies little. Luke relating it, Luk_6:1, saith it was on the second sabbathafter the first, and his disciples did eat, rubbing them. God in his law, Deu_23:25, had said, When thou comest into thestanding corn of thy neighbour, thou mayest pluck the ears withthine hand, but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’sstanding corn. To take for our need so much of our neighbour’s goods as we may reasonably think that, if he were present, and knew our circumstances, he would give us, is no theft. The Pharisees therefore do not accuse them of theft, but of violation of the sabbath. Luke saith this happened upon the second sabbath after the first. Whether that was the sabbath next following the feast of unleavened bread, (which was about the time of our Easter), the first and last days of which were sabbaths in the Jewish sense, or the feast of tabernacles, or any other, is not much material for us to know. But on a sabbath day it was that our Saviour
went through the corn, and his disciples were an hungred: this may teach us their low estate and condition in the world. He could quickly have supplied their hunger, but he chose to leave them to relieve themselves with plucking, rubbing, and eating of the corn, that he might have an opportunity to instruct them and the Pharisees in the true doctrine of the sabbath.