DAY 25: Leaving Something Behind . . . and More

“A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.” (Mark 14:51-52 )

At one point, Jesus invited three men to leave everything behind and follow Him (Luke 9 ). They refused. They were unwilling to let go of things in their lives and become disciples. They held on to whatever was valuable, at the expense of discipleship.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus was being arrested, a young man left everything behind, not to follow Jesus, but to flee.

It’s an interesting little anecdote, set in the midst of the high drama of betrayal. None of the other Gospels report the incident – just the Gospel of Mark.

Who was he? And why was he there? Well, we don’t know. We’re left to speculate, using our believing and Scripturally informed imaginations.

There are those who say the young man was actually Mark, the writer of the Gospel, making a cameo appearance.

But maybe there’s something more. 

The only other time Mark mentions a young man, wearing a garment, is in the empty tomb (Mark 16:5 ).

At Jesus’ betrayal, a young man leaves the scene in shame. In the empty tomb, a young man is present to announce the empty tomb Jesus left behind.    

They are not the same person – one was a human being and the other an angel. But the literary connection is interesting.

From naked to robed in triumph. The collective story reveals an immeasurably more gift to us.

As your church engages in this capital campaign, maybe there are some things to leave behind – fears, doubts, previous opportunities missed – and let the empty tomb, the triumph of Christ, be what your focus is in all you do.