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Gathering Grain

Back in the olden days, two thousand years ago, in a far away land called Judea, there lived a rabbi named Jesus. In those days, in that land, it was illegal to do any work on the sabbath day. The sabbath day began on Friday when the sun went down, and ended on Saturday when the sun went down. For that whole time, no one was allowed to do any work.

The rabbi named Jesus was wandering around the countryside. He would go from town to town, and he would tell people how to be good people, how to be the best people they could possibly be. As he traveled, he began to attract followers, people who liked what he said and who wanted to stay with him to learn more.

Well, Jesus and his followers were traveling one day. It happened to be a sabbath day. They were walking along, and they were very hungry. They hadn't had anything to eat all day, and they didn't have anything to eat that night. They came to a field of grain, and they decided to pluck some of the grain so that they could have something to eat that evening.

As they plucked the grain, some Pharisees came along. The Pharisees were people who were in charge of enforcing all the religious laws. The Pharisees saw the followers of Jesus plucking grain. But wait! It was the sabbath! No one was allowed to pluck grain on the sabbath, because plucking grain was work, and you weren't supposed to work on the sabbath day!

So the Pharisees came up to Jesus, and said, "Why are all your followers plucking grain? Don't they know that it isn't lawful to pluck grain on the sabbath?"

But Jesus said to them, "I know that's the law of the sabbath. But I also know that the whole point of that law is to help people. We do no work on the sabbath so that we can take the time to think about what is most important in life. If we worked every day without ever taking a rest, we would soon forget what is important.

"You guys have it backwards," said Jesus. "You think that the law about not working on the sabbath day is more important than people. Well, it's not. When it comes to religion, the most important thing is the people."