Jesus directed them to make all the people take their seats on the green grass, in parties;
one meal missed
is not starvation
feasts are not
about overflowing cups
so let’s feast
with one another
you and you and you
together sit talk grow
what teaching do you remember
how might you teach this
rejoice in nutritious meaning
be ready to feed others
Remember here that the stage direction or command given is in direct relationship to the resistance of the Twelve to shift gears into being hospitable rather than receiving hospitality. This is a life-long learning.
We are back to a practicum instead of theory. If previous learnings haven’t stuck, it is time to experience them again.
In Jesus’ day eating/feasting took place in a reclining position. This adds a different spacial arrangement than sitting in a chair and at table.
For people associated with their religious heritage (which cannot be assumed today) there would have been an almost knee-jerk response to remember the 23rd Psalm and lying down in green pastures. There is a restoration of soul, community, and creation in the air.
Acknowledging that “green” is not a universal descriptor of grass, think desert settings and grass something more yellowish than greenish (chartreusy?). The green here, χλωρός (chlōros) is the root of chlorophyll—a gift that transforms light matter to life energy.
Here we are making use of a process of human metamorphosis, a communal act that can change hearts and minds—feasting. [Note: Obviously feasts can move in the other direction (see Herod’s hardening and not being able to change earlier in Chapter 6).]
It is encouraging to see that the banquet being prepared for is intended for “all” the people—those whose brain is already full of teaching or have received their healing and those still in process. The Greek binds us together with a double word (συμπόσια συμπόσια—sumposia, a drinking party) as δύο δύο did for the Twelve. Party on!