At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” Matt 12:1-2
The Law of Moses gave specific examples of what to avoid on the Sabbath. One man was executed for picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Num 15:32-36)
More about the Sabbath in Exodus 31:12-17.
So what is the problem with the scripture in Matthew?
Thru the years Rabbi’s had defined work not to do on the Sabbath. This oral tradition became part of the Law but not given by God. It became a tradition of man.
According to the Rabbi’s prohibited Sabbath work included sowing, plowing, reaping, binding sheaves, threshing, winnowing, selecting, grinding, sifting, kneading, baking, shearing wool, washing wool, beating wool, dyeing wool, spinning, weaving, making two loops, weaving two threads, separating two threads, tying, untying, sewing stitches, tearing, trapping, slaughtering, flaying, tanning, scraping hide, marking hides, cutting hide to shape, writing two or more letters, erasing two or more letters, building, demolishing, extinguishing a fire, kindling a fire, putting the finishing touch on an object, transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.
As a result the Sabbath became very restrictive and burdensome on everybody.
The Pharisee’s judged Jesus on Talmud and Oral Tradition, not on the word of God.
Their judgment was false.
Jesus’ judgment is based on the word of God.
His judgment is true.
Judgment based on God’s word is not judgment – it is truth. Judging someone on personal belief and tradition is unrighteous.
As for the Sabbath, Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27