3:4 Is it lawful. Jesus anticipates their criticism by reiterating the Sabbath teaching He began in 2:25–28. The Pharisees held that only essential aid to the sick was lawful on the Sabbath. Jesus shows that their interpretation was against the spirit of the commandment, which existed for the promotion of good (2:27). The good that Jesus does in bringing redemption is required, not forbidden, by the divine law.