Listen:  85 Question 4

Let’s read Mark 14:43-53 to get an understanding of what is going on in this portion.  “And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him. And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. And they all forsook him, and fled. 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: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.”

The scene is the betrayal of the Lord Jesus by Judas so that the servants of the high priest might take him away to be tried and eventually crucified.  There are three unidentified people in this portion.  In verse 47, we learn of one that tried to defend the Lord.  He swung his sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest.  John 18:10 gives us the identity of both of these men.  That says, “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.”

The third unknown person is identified as a certain young man wearing a linen cloth.  The book of Mark is the only gospel that mentions this young man.  The fact that we are told that he had a linen cloth, or garment, cast about his naked body seems to indicate that this man had been roused from his sleep by all the commotion.  We can deduce that this young man ran outside his home to see what all the noise was about.  Some have supposed that this young man was Mark because it is only Mark that writes about this incident.  Since the scriptures do not tell us his name, we do well to leave it at that.  We just can’t know who this young man was.

We might ask then why he is even mentioned.  Why did the Lord have Mark record this event if we have no way of knowing who he is?  2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”  Every word in the Word of God is God-inspired and is profitable.  What profit, then, is there in knowing about this incident?  It may be that the guards thought this young man was a disciple of the Lord and tried to capture him.  This incident does show the cruelty and savagery of these guards when they did not even spare this poor young man, who had left his bed, almost naked, and came out to learn the meaning of all this noise.  It was only his ability to slip out of his garments that prevented this man from being captured along with the Lord.  We also get a great sense of the truth in Matthew 26:31, where we read “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.”