Luke 6:1-5

Luke 6:1 (KJB)
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

It is not known exactly where this happened but it does not matter because what is in view here is that Jesus is about to give a practical teaching on the Sabbath. At this time Jesus and the disciples were on their way to the Synagogue. The grain in view might have been either barley or wheat, however it could also have been actual corn. Sometimes corn in the Bible is used as a general description for different grains. If they were near Capernaum, then the barley harvest would be ready in March and the wheat harvest would be ready in May, this episode took place about a year before the Lord’s crucifixion. It was the Sabbath day and the disciples were hungry so as they went they had decided to take a snack right off the stalks.

Luke 6:2 (KJB)
And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

If a person was hungry, it was permissible to eat what is needed to satisfy your hunger. (Deu 23:24-25 KJV) When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel. {25} When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn. So they were not stealing from the vineyard. The Pharisees had seen this and they had deemed what the disciples did as unnecessary harvesting and therefore guilty of breaking the Sabbath by working on it. Breaking the sabbath was an offense punishably by death according to the law and so the Pharisees had gone to Jesus to tell Him what His disciples were doing because they thought that Jesus was responsible for the actions of His disciples.

Luke 6:3 (KJB)
And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him;

Then Jesus answers them, not by a direct defense, but goes back to the time of David with a scriptural narrative they should have been familiar with. He refers to the Scriptures of 1 Samuel 21:2-7. If the Pharisees would not condemn David, then they could not condemn the disciples also if the priest gave the showbread to David, then he would not be condemned because David did not take the bread but it was given to him. (1 Sam 21:6 KJV) So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away. David and his men were hungry, just as the disciples were.

Luke 6:4 (KJB)
How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the showbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

David had gone into the Tabernacle because the temple of God had not been built and inquired if there was any loaves of bread to eat or anything else to eat. David was given the showbread which was lawful only for the priests to eat. It was baked and replaced on the sabbath day. The priest who attended to David allowed him to take the showbread as along as the men had kept themselves ceremonially clean and from women for at least three days which they did. The disciples, like David were permitted to break the ceremonial law because the higher law of life was being obeyed. If they did not eat, then they would faint along the way and die of malnutrition. There was no condemnation given to David either by God or by the priests. At the time of David, the law of God was not yet perverted with so many legalistic additions and it was seen as a spiritual law for their benefit. (Rom 7:14 KJV) For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. (Mark 2:27 KJV) And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Luke 6:5 (KJB)
And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

In the Greek, the word “kurios” (Lord) begins the statement which is in the Nominative Case making it the subject. What is in view here is that the Lord Jesus Christ is superior or Lord over the law and that includes the sabbath. He is the master and the law is His servant. The law will judge all unbelievers on the last day. Since Jesus was the great lawgiver at Sinai, He has the authority to annul parts of it at His discretion. The name “Son of man” is not to be connected with the idea that man has the authority over the law. That would be an incorrect and dangerous interpretation. The authority over the law belongs only to Jesus and no one else.