No one likes to be singled out for doing something wrong, especially when it is unintentional. That's what happened to Jesus' disciples as they walked hungry through a grain field. They picked some grain to stave hunger pains until they could get a regular meal.
Read the Story:
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields,
and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain . . .
Some of the Pharisees asked,
“Why are you doing what is unlawful?” Luke 6:1,2
The problem was that it was the Sabbath with a no-harvest rule in place. Were the Pharisees following them, waiting to catch them in some irreligious act on this holy day of rest? With the first pick, they were on this act of transgression with their pointing fingers. Harvesting on the Sabbath! Shame! Shame! They found the disciples doing exactly what they were looking for: rule-breaking.
Who Am I?
Sometimes I am a finger-pointing Pharisee, calling someone else out for their transgression. Not always out loud. That’s the easy cover-up. I can call them wrong in my heart and no one will ever see my finger-pointing.
Or I will try subtle. Come in the back door. Make my finger-pointing sound helpful, just like the Pharisees. And just like them, I can easily obey the rules and miss the point.
Jesus said that righteousness is what is in the heart. He knew that rules would never be evangelistic.
So here is what I must learn: if I must finger-point, let me point to myself. Let me see my misuse of good news. Let me call myself out when I hide behind doing the right thing when my heart is in the wrong place. Let me ask God to protect me from calling the question for others when I am the one who should answer first.