Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?

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Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?
I never noticed this before... and maybe you haven't either.

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 the 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 he Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!"

Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stopped 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.

Why is this significant?

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 his Servant. 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. The servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished. Now if the master was 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 up napkin meant, "I'm finished"

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,


and so He shall.

I was reminded of this beautiful explanation through a friend's post the other day.  However, I first read it through an email that had once been forwarded to me.  It was good to reread it. And, to reflect on it.

 I just thought I would share it again, with you today.

You'll have to forgive me, I have no idea who the original author of this is.

:: The photo is my own personal interpretation. Thank-you.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I had read that also, but never knew the significance. Thank you so much for your post. He IS coming back!! Hallelujah!! Have a blessed Resurrection Day with your family.

  3. You know something Bevy, I was reading that part of scripture to my girls last week and noticed that exact thing for the first time. I wondered about it, thinking that it was a strange thing to do. Thank you so much for insight into this small detail of Christ's Resurrection. I am once again humbled at the awesomeness of our Lord and how every little word and gesture in scripture is significant. May you and your family have a very blessed Easter.
    X Shirley
    PS - I have posted a reply on my blog re the 'new proving method for bread' and your lemon curd question.

  4. I read this in an email a long time ago also. I had forgotten about it. Thanks for posting it as a reminder to me. I'm going to share it with some other people.

  5. Sorry to burst your bubble but I too had read this and it just didn't sound plausible. A little research revealed that it was in fact not true. http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/f/folded-napkin.htm

    It is still interesting though to think about why it was included in the narrative. And the truth still remains that he is coming back folded napkin or not! :)


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