In chapter 2 of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus and his disciples were walking along in a wheat field. The disciples were hungry and thought nothing of picking the heads of grain and eating them. Their perception was (1) we are on a road trip with the Master; (2) we are hungry and need a little snack; (3) God provided this beautiful wheat field with harvest-ready wheat; and so, (4) we can eat some grain now and it will tide us over until we are able to get a proper meal.
Sounds pretty innocuous, doesn't it? Oh, by the way, did I tell you this event took place on the Sabbath.
Some Pharisees, noted for being lovers and keepers of the Law, observed the disciples snacking. The Pharisees were offended and indignant. Picking the heads of wheat and eating the grain was considered work and good, religious people don't work on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was regarded as a holy day and a day of rest.
In your opinion, what were the intentions of the disciples? What were the intentions of the Pharisees?
What is more important: keeping the letter of the Law or the intent of the Law?
Can someone keep almost all of the Law and still be far away from God? Can someone look unworthy and undeserving and be close to God?
I'd love to hear your thoughts ...