A similar statement can be found in Mark, chapter 4:1. This seems to be a transition statement. It was the same day (Ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ), but Jesus left his house (ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῆς οἰκίας) and sat beside the Sea of Galilee (ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν). Such great crowds gathered or assembled around him (καὶ συνήχθησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλοι πολλοί), so that Jesus got into a boat (ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα). He then sat there in the boat (καθῆσθαι), while the whole crowd stood on the beach shore (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν εἱστήκει). Jesus was no longer talking to just his apostles since this was a whole crowd of people.
Matthew has Jesus with his disciples on the Sabbath day walking in a grain field. This is similar to Mark, chapter 2:23, at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. It is also the same as Luke, chapter 6:1. Once again there is a transition statement of Matthew, “At that time” (Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ). Jesus was traveling through the grain fields on the Sabbath (ἐπορεύθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς σάββασιν διὰ τῶν σπορίμων). This is the only use of the word “σπορίμων” in all the biblical literature. All three synoptics use this word that meant a sown field or a grain field. His disciples were hungry (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπείνασαν). They began to pluck the heads of the grain in the field (καὶ ἤρξαντο τίλλειν στάχυας). Once again, this is a unique word “τίλλειν.” “plucking” that only appears in the New Testament literature in this story of the three synoptics. They then ate these grain heads (καὶ ἐσθίειν). This sets up the problem of plucking grain on the Sabbath.