Life from Death

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 6:30-44

Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. (v. 39)

Colors are rarely mentioned in the Bible. Red, purple, yellow, brown, blue: these adjectives don’t crop up much in biblical descriptions. So when a color does pop up, it should catch your eye and make you wonder what’s up. Why here does Mark make sure to tell us that Jesus had the crowds sit on green grass?

Well, first notice how often Mark has mentioned that they were in a very isolated, lonely, solitary place. Actually, the Greek word used several times in Mark 6 means “wilderness”—it was a desert-like place. And in the Bible the wilderness is a place of death. Yet in this particular desert place, Jesus was about to feed people abundantly—there would be food to spare! Jesus came to bring life to a world of death and on this occasion, he also turned a wilderness into a lush place with green grass and more than enough bread and fish to go around. Remarkable!

We now know who Jesus is. “The Lord is my shepherd . . . he makes me lie down in green pastures” (Ps. 23:1-2). Jesus is the great Messiah, the Shepherd of the sheep, the one who came to make all things new, the one who would fulfill the words of the prophets about turning the desert into an oasis of verdant life (Isaiah 35). No wonder Mark tells us the people that evening “were satisfied.” With God’s Messiah, we expect nothing less!

—Scott Hoezee

Thank you, dear God, for sending us the Messiah!