I am among those who too easily judge others, especially if they break the rules. Matthew 12:1-14 is a classic passage pitting humans against God, rules and laws against mercy and needs. Jesus responds to the Pharisees' protest of the disciples plucking grains to eat on the sabbath by countering with examples of David eating the bread of Presence and the temple priests guiltlessly breaking the sabbath.
"...something greater than the temple is here." God was among them in Christ and they didn't recognize him. He who is "Lord of the sabbath" was greater than the sabbath, greater than the temple, greater than the rules of men.
Verse 7, lying right in the middle of the passage, holds the key to that which should motivate our relationships, that which motivated Christ--mercy! This is further illustrated by Jesus healing on the sabbath.
He just never learned did he? He kept obeying his heavenly father despite the religious hierarchy's opposition. Just look at what this brought him--God's pleasure, but via the way of the cross-- just as it does for us. No cross, no crown. Are we willing to take the risk, to break the rules, to please our Lord?
Photo from flickr.