This is such a strange verse. I usually pass over it as I read thinking it’s waaaaay over my head to figure this one out, however this week I stopped, pondered, dove into the words and wondered and wondered away as I asked God, what in the world! is going on here?
—-a naked man running away in the night after men had laid hold of him, then he dropped his linen cloth………who memorized that verse in bible class?
So here’s the scene: It’s the night before Jesus’s death and Judas with his temple hierarchy come sneaking to find Jesus at Gethsemane (garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem). They did this privately because they feared the people would be in an uproar if they saw what they were up to. Jesus had been earnestly praying to God that this awful cup would pass – but also for God’s will only. Jesus’ friends kept falling asleep even though Jesus had asked them to stay awake and pray. Jesus, then, coming back to his disciples a 3rd time said
““Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
And then you know the rest, Judas kisses him, an armed crowd with swords and clubs surrounds Jesus, they seize and arrest Jesus, then he heals the ear of one of his attackers, then everyone deserts him…..then this verse :
Mark 14:51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him
So long story short, I think this is symbolic of the scapegoat when they sacrificed- or the scapebird- yeah, there’s a scape bird too (Lev 14 ).
However, let’s look at a few things or follow me along my thought process which made me believe, out of all my thoughts, that my final on this verse is scapegoat
1 . Linen…why linen!?! We know linen was mainly used for the high priests and also the temple hangings- hmmm but I’m not convinced I have a full answer here. Sure, Jesus is our high priest and he made a way for us through the veil..but let’s move on
2- Who else was naked? (besides demon possessed) Adam- and what did Adam do? He hid, he probably ran like this naked man did too. First Adam? last Adam? Is there a similarity? maybe, sure. Adam and this man both found themselves naked and one hid and the other ran. Yeah, but that can’t be the full story either
3- Was it symbolic of a new beginning – born naked and die naked like life and death, no, that can’t be it. Could it be shame? ehhhh , I’m not convinced
4- Did it have something to do with our garments? Revelation 16:15 Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.
5- Isaiah 20:3 Isaiah walked naked as a SIGN and a wonder
………………..okay so there is something symbolic in Mark 14:51-52
What do I think?
I think there’s a link between this action in the garden and the sin offering with the scapegoat in Leviticus 16:7
He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 8 Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.
15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.
Perhaps in Mark, the hands laid on The man we’re like the hands laid on the head of the live scape goat.
Update, I see it now! Do you know what this means?! This is the ultimate picture of forgiveness! Jesus is taking the sin of all his accusers right there at that moment, offering himself up as the sin offering. Wow! Look, the men laid hold of the man and then he ran off. So the men, like the priest laying his hand on the scapegoat, then the men coming to arrest Jesus laid their hands on this man and then Jesus, beside them was the ultimate sin offering. wow. wow. wow!
Peace out and show others your bravery in Christ just as the Israelites did when they marched out of Egypt showing the Egyptians their bravery because they trusted in the Lord. That’s what God wants you to do. Be brave and represent Him with FAITH!
Who exactly laid hold of whom? The translation in bible says the men laid hold of him meaning the man in linen, However when you read the translation in Greek,
it says the man laid hold of the man, the young man is the definition of both the one laying hands on the man and the one in linen. It’s also translated servant so maybe the servant of the high priest who just had his ear replaced was the one who laid hold of this man in linen. The pluralization of the word ‘men’ is added, we only know a young man or young servant laid hold, seized or tried to restrain another young man or servant.
Now we think a young man or men laid hold of him- but often, that ‘ him’ is also plural in the bible. What if the young man tried to seized them- those trying to seize Jesus.- or is the him , Jesus?
Did the men try to seize the man in linen?
did the man in linen try to seize Jesus? the men or one man, like the priest’s servant?
Did one man of the accusers try to seize this man.
If you read the bible verse, it’s clear. When you did deeper and read the true meaning, we don’t know for sure who seized who. I believe the men or the servant’s young priest tried to seize the man in linen, for what reason? Maybe the man in linen was trying to seize them or Jesus. Anyways, what we do know is this- one or two were about to be seized. hands were laid on someone and one ran away dropping his linen. Was this linen used in the burial of Jesus? I don’t know if Joseph of Arimathea would have used that or used a new one, but knowing Joseph, I think he’d only want the best, not one that dropped on the ground, but I’ve been wrong before.