What does Mark 14:52 mean?
ESV: but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
NIV: he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
NASB: But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.
CSB: but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked.
NLT: he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.
KJV: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
NKJV: and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
Verse Commentary:
None of the other Gospels include the account of the naked boy, which leads scholars to think it is Mark, the author. Mark traveled with his cousin Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey through Asia Minor. He deserted them partway through, earning Paul's ire. But he stayed with Barnabas for his second tour and reconciled with Paul (Philemon 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:11). He must have been familiar with the church in Jerusalem and it's thought he wrote his Gospel with the help of Peter.

It is according to the Law that the men of Israel are to gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. This is to be done on the 14th of Nisan, and the men then stay for the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. In Jesus' time, many Jews live in Judea, the territory that includes Jerusalem. North, on the other side of Samaria, is Galilee, the region where Jesus, most of the disciples, and hundreds of thousands of other Jews, live. East of Judea, across the Jordan River, is Perea, where even more Jews are settled.

Because of all of these factors, scholars estimate Jerusalem hosts 200,000 more men than usual during the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. The city would not have enough room to house all these people, so the travelers sleep wherever they can. The Mount of Olives is not as densely populated as Jerusalem, and Jesus and the disciples have spent every night there (Luke 21:37). Possibly, this young man is camping there, as well.

Although the young man is not identified as a follower of Jesus, the guards have good reason to keep him from escaping. Throughout the week, the Jewish leaders have looked for an opportunity to arrest Jesus away from the crowds (Mark 14:1–2). Galileans have a historical habit of rebelling against the Roman rulers, resulting in a great deal of collateral damage. The last thing the Jewish leaders want is a war in Jerusalem. They don't want the young man to alert the crowd who believe Jesus is the Messiah (Mark 11:1–10).
Verse Context:
Mark 14:51–52 contains a detail found only in Mark's Gospel. This leads biblical scholars to think the young man may be Mark, himself. Whatever the case may be, this young man has apparently witnessed the events described in the previous verses. Jesus has been mourning and weeping, Judas comes and kisses Him in greeting. A mob of guards and servants arrest Jesus. A sword appears, slashing off the ear of a servant. Jesus' followers flee, and the boy tries to do the same. Whether he realized it at the time or not, this young man is watching the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus is anointed in a symbolic anticipation of His death. Judas decides to secretly cooperate with local religious leaders to arrest Jesus in secret. During the Passover meal, Jesus predicts His betrayal by Judas, and Peter's denial. He also institutes the Lord's Supper, also known as communion. After praying on the Mount of Olives, Jesus is captured when Judas identifies Him to a hostile mob sent by Jewish authorities. He endures a corrupt, prejudiced trial, ending in a conviction for blasphemy. Peter, fearing for his life, lies about knowing Jesus, before remembering Jesus' prediction and breaking down in sobs.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has finished His public teaching ministry and now prepares for the crucifixion. His sacrificial loyalty will provide the means by which the disciples' abandonment will be forgiven. Next, the Romans, as representatives of Gentiles throughout history, will join the Jews and kill Jesus. Jesus will be buried, but He will rise again with the promise that His sacrifice will redeem the world. Matthew 26 and Luke 22 follow Mark 14 more closely while John 13:1—18:27 records more of Jesus' teaching in the upper room.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/21/2024 1:18:00 PM
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