While he was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you not read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry? How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”Luke 6:1-5
Jesus taught with authority and healed on the Sabbath, which drew the ire of religious authorities. The “sheep without a shepherd” were like mangled castaways in the eyes of the Good Shepherd who came to free them to love.
The choice of the word “discard” in the second line of the couplet comes from Matthew 9:36:
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.
The Greek word translated as “abandoned” (errimmenoi) means cast away, thrown off, scattered, dejected, helpless, downcast, and distressed.
Kindness and mercy give joy to God’s heart.
Sabbaths without mercy his sheep discard.