On a certain Sabbath Jesus was walking through a field of ripe grain. His disciples were pulling off heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands to get rid of the chaff, and eating them.
Some Pharisees said, "Why are you doing that, breaking a Sabbath rule?"
But Jesus stood up for them. "Have you never read what David and those with him did when they were hungry?
How he entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? He also handed it out to his companions."
Then he said, "The Son of Man is no slave to the Sabbath; he's in charge."
On another Sabbath he went to the meeting place and taught. There was a man there with a crippled right hand.
The religion scholars and Pharisees had their eye on Jesus to see if he would heal the man, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction.
He knew what they were up to and spoke to the man with the crippled hand: "Get up and stand here before us." He did.
Then Jesus addressed them, "Let me ask you something: What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?"
He looked around, looked each one in the eye. He said to the man, "Hold out your hand." He held it out - it was as good as new!
They were beside themselves with anger, and started plotting how they might get even with him.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)