Friday, June 27, 2008

Fled Naked?

As Yeshua was arrested, the gospel of Mark says: "Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked" ( Mark 14:51, 52).


Some believe that was Mark's way of putting himself into the story, showing that he knew the things of which he wrote. Others believe that the young man represented the disciples "fleeing from Yeshua." Still others agreeing that the young man was symbolic, think that he represented the future followers of Yeshua, willing to forsake everything and follow "naked."

Of course, an understanding of a Hebrew idiom aids in understanding this verse. The prophet Amos, speaking the words of Yah, said:

Amo 2:11 And I raised up from your sons prophets, and Nazarites from your young men. Is this not even so, O sons of Israel? declares Yahweh. 12 But you gave the Nazarites wine to drink, and you commanded the prophets, saying, Do not prophesy. 13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart full with produce is pressed. 14 And refuge shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his power, nor shall the mighty deliver his life, 15 and he who handles the bow shall not stand, and the swift footed shall not save, and the horse rider shall not save his life.
16 And the strong one in his heart among the mighty shall flee naked in that day, declares Yahweh.

From the context in Amos, the phrase "flee naked" represented the utter futility of escaping God's punishment. In Mark, the phrase is used by the evangelist perhaps for two reasons. First, it definitively identifies Yeshua as the prophet and nazarite of God. Second, it marks the arrest of Yeshua as an act that "pressed" God as "under a cart full with produce is pressed."

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