A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
Who is the young man in this passage? Why was he wearing only a linen garment? Why would this embarrassing account be included in the Gospels?
It is believed that the young man in this story was Mark, the writer of this gospel. While not one of the Twelve, he was very familiar with the person and work of Jesus. Some commentators surmise that Mark’s family was wealthy and that the Last Supper was held at their home. It can be conjectured that after Jesus and the disciples left, Mark went to bed wearing a linen garment. When he heard of the commotion in the garden, he ran there in his nightshirt. After a brief encounter with the soldiers, he broke away, leaving his tunic behind.
Later, Mark set out on a journey with Paul, but for some reason, he left in the middle of the trip. When a second journey was being planned with Barnabas, Paul refused to let Mark go. This evoked a heated discussion between Paul and Barnabas, causing them to part company. But later, when Paul was in prison, he asked that Mark come to him. He acknowledged Mark’s value in ministry. Mark did not allow his embarrassing moment in the garden or his later failure to stop him. Mark, the writer of the second gospel, is a great example for us. We never have to be held back by past mistakes. God forgives and uses our failures to prepare us for the journey ahead.
Father, don’t let me be paralyzed by my failures. Help me press on toward the goal You have set for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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