Usually these verses were discussed in what the allowable activity was for Sunday or Sabbath. They complete missed the point of the passages. Previous chapters showed that the Lord Jesus had already sent his apostles to the countryside and expect some response from the people. But in spite of the work and miracles of his apostles-the people are still lukewarm and their leaders hostile.
And so at the end of chapter 11, Jesus mentioned regarding judgment, predestination and hiding divine mysteries. Then he mentioned about the rest that the Pharisees cannot give in their multiple laws and interpretations.
Sabbath is about rest; in the previous verse-Jesus talks about rest in him-have you heard that? Different words-anapausin and sabbasin-but both pointing to resting. Jesus is drawing others to rest in him. And yet others will use Sabbath to pick a fight.
He mentioned obliquely that he is greater then David and the temple, by saying that his disciples were innocent in plucking and eating grains during the Sabbath. Surely he knows who he is. Yet the Pharisees do not recognize him.
As previously mentioned at Matt 9:13- the desire for mercy is not directed at him but for the sake of others. But the Pharisees are more concerned with outward conformity and practice. They should have seen that the Messiah is for others.