TIME after time the Jews accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath. In one instance as Jesus and his disciples were going through a field of grain, the disciples, being hungry, picked some of the grain, and rubbing off the chaff in their hands, began to eat the kernels. "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. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shew bread which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath-days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless!"

"And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath."

"And it came to pass also on another Sabbath that he entered into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him whether he would heal on the Sabbath-day, that they might find an accusation against him."  "And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath-days? .... And 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? How much, then, is a man better than a sheep! Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath-days." Then said he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth, and it was restored whole, like as the other. 

Then the Pharisees went out and held a council together, how they might destroy him."

In all these lessons, Jesus did not mean to teach that the Sabbath need not be kept carefully, but rather to show how it ought to be kept. Some of the Jews, especially the Pharisees, were very particular on points, which the Lord did not require. 

They did not seem to realize that the Lord meant the Sabbath to be a blessing and a delight, a day when we should rest from common labor, in order to think of the goodness of God, to study his word and his works, and to do deeds of mercy.