Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Folded Napkin

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never
noticed this....

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!'

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had
to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.

The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.

The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, 'I'm done'.

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because..........

The folded napkin meant, 'I'm coming back!'

He is Coming Back!!


Anonymous said...

I never heard or read this one before. It is real or made up? I mean I understand the folded and wadded up napkin in the master and servant but never realized it also was applicable to Jesus.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Yes he is!
I never knew this either. Thanks for sharing it.

Kathleen said...

Oh Patty!!
I have never heard this.Thanks for the napkin lesson.

Winifred said...

I never knew this either but I like it.

Judy said...

Beautiful! Thankyou for sharing all of this amazing information, Patty! I enjoyed learned about "the folded napkin!" Yessss! He is coming back! ((hugs))

nituscorner said...

well i din't hear of this either. thanks for sharing.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I've not heard this one before; got goose bumps!

Margaret Cloud said...

This is a very nice post, I didn't know this tradition either, so very interesting.

Femin Susan said...

I've not heard this one before. Thanks for sharing.

Renie Burghardt said...

I haven't heard this one about the folded napkin either. But I do believe that He is coming back!!

Good night, Patty.


Joy said...

Hi Patty,

I drop in occasionally and read your blog. I have heard this story before but had forgotten it. I was happy to have my memory refreshed.

There is so much scripture that requires a knowledge of Jewish tradition at the time. That is why I really like The teacher knows Greek and Hebrew and a lot about the way daily life was lived.

When traveling home from the west on I-70 we usually make a pit stop at the McD's in Brookville.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

That is interesting indication.

Reader Wil said...

It's a beautiful story! True or not true. And it's true that Jesus will come back. Thank you.

Jeff said...

This would be a great sentiment, but unfortunately this email (like most!) is simply not based in historical truth. Sadly, there are many who feel the need to "help" scripture along by inventive stories. In the end, it hurts the integrity of the gospel.

I have written an explanation here: