Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?

This is one I have only seen circulating a couple of times, so; if this touches you, you may want to forward it.

Place Setting with Folded Napkin

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?

I never noticed this before … In 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 the entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and placed separate than the other grave clothes.

Early ‘on the first day of the week’, 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 back and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved (John).

She said, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him!’ John 20:2

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple (John) outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen clothes 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 by itself.

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!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not,
even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,
that we which are alive and remain unto the
coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up
together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

He is Coming Back!

©2014 Mark Davis

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183 Comments

  1. Carrie Bunn

     /  March 21, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this makes me think of what I was told to do when I went to a restaurant, If the food was good then you are to fold the napkin and put it beside the plate and if the food was not good then wad the napkin and throw it in the plate.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. This was a great message.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. henry harris

     /  March 21, 2016

    I HAD HEARD THAT QUITE SOME YEARS AGO,GIVING ATTENTION TO THE WADDED NAPKIN, ‘I AM FINISHED,YOU CAN CLEAR THE TABLE. HOWEVER, IF THE NAPKIN WERE FOLDED AFTER THE MEAL,IT CLEARLY MEANT, ‘I AM COMING BACK, DO NOT CLEAR THIS AWAY ‘. THE ETIQUETTE OF THE DAY WAS THS. AND IS IT IMPORTANT FOR JESUS TO LEAVE THIS MESSAGE? YES, VERY IMPORTANT! WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE FULL INTENTION OF JESUS. ‘I AM COMING BACK! LEAVE IT.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Fiona Blanks

     /  March 21, 2016

    He’s coming back!! This was like a fresh revelation it had me in tears, thank you for posting this, it has strengthened my faith!! Even now Lord come!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Sidney Burrows

     /  March 21, 2016

    Jesus used every opportunity to assure is Disciples that He will return for them just as He promised in John 14:1-3.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Bernice Burchfield

     /  March 21, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this. I don’think I have ever read it. Makes good sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. James Vanley

     /  March 21, 2016

    It was thrilling to read your information about the folded napkin. To learn more about our Lord and why he does so many things to tell us about his returning makes my day complete. May His coming be very soon. The older I get the more I look for his returnIng.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. Nevadakay

     /  March 21, 2016

    I am waiting with great expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. Ann Marie

     /  March 21, 2016

    I loved this many christians who truly love the Lord don’t have the background info such as this that makes God’s Word come alive thank you for shedding this light on this

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. Pam Goodson-Booher

     /  March 21, 2016

    Praise The Lord Jesus Christ Son of God!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Debbie Hudson

     /  March 21, 2016

    My pastor preached on this several years ago, and I have always remembered it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. I’m glad you could learn from and enjoy it! God Bless You!
    –Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. Fran curry

     /  March 21, 2016

    Beautiful! I did not know this

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  14. remie

     /  March 21, 2016

    Never knew this until now,,
    This is indeed a blessing to me..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  15. My pleasure! Thank you for telling me what you think. I’m glad to hear that you are learning more in Christ!
    –Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  16. Samson

     /  March 21, 2016

    Good day sir, please ihave a question for you. ” how many Church did Christ build in the bible? Mathew 16 :18

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Wow – thank you so much for your question. This could actually spur on a totally different post having not really been related to this exact topic.

      I’m not exactly certain where you are going with this question but I think I will attempt to answer more than just your initial question as well as an other question which many others (as well as you might fall into this category as well) have asked regarding this text. I’m sorry ahead of time for the probability for this answer being a bit long but I believe for a complete answer to your question, it is required.

      You reference, Matthew 16:18:

      [KJV] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

      Just breezing through this text, one would presume that it is indicating just one church, Peter’s, correct? The Catholic Church believes that Peter was the founder of their faith also being their first pope. That is strange considering that Peter lived in the first century A.D. and the Catholic Church wasn’t founded until nearly 400 A.D. You do the math.

      Actually, many believe that this text is indicating that Jesus is telling Peter that He will be building His church on him (Peter), believing that the Greek word for “Peter” and the Greek word for “rock” is the same greek word, “Petra” (G4073 πέτρα petra (pe’-tra) n.).

      Here is a brief study on the original words that were used in this verse. The belief is that the verse (belief of the above statement) is stating that Peter is the head of the Church from that point forward; There is one Church (branching into many other sects), the Roman Catholics, that believe this such statement.

      Here is the truth to this verse:

      The Greek word for “rock” is: G4073 (Strong’s number), πέτρα (the Greek spelling), petra (English translation), (pe’-tra) (the pronunciation of the word in English), n. (indication of the type of word it is, in this case it is a noun – person, place, or thing; or could also be used as a pronoun – but in this case is not a pronoun).
      1. (properly) a mass of solid rock (such as a solidly massive foundation or as jutting upward for hewing out a large family chamber tomb).
      2. (person) The Solid Rock (of Ages), Jesus, Yeshua.
      3. (Note) The solid rock is in distinct contrast to a piece of rock or a rock fragment.

      The Greek word for “Peter” is: G4074 (Strong’s number), Πέτρος (the Greek spelling), Petros (English translation), (pe’-tros) the pronunciation of the word in English), n/p. (indicating that this could be used as a noun or a pronoun, indicated by context, not personal preferences – in this case it is used as a noun.)
      1. a (piece of) rock.
      2. as a name, Petrus, an apostle.

      Notice the differences between these two words.
      The word “petros” is being used as the “name of an apostle”, but if it were looked at as a form of rock, it would only be a small piece of rock… not much to put a church on.

      The word “Petra” is being used as “(person) The Solid Rock (of Ages), Jesus, Yeshua”. If it were looked at as a form of rock, it would be a massive amount of rock, such as a foundation (bedrock).

      Comparing the two, it, in my mind, and I think it is obvious the way the accurate translation should be, it should be the “rock” that is being used in this instance to build the Church upon is Jesus, The Solid Rock, The Bedrock, The Foundation of our Faith.

      I have to answer your question as: There is only ONE Church being created in the verse Matthew 16:18. The Church is NOT the Catholic Church, but rather the Church of Christians.

      Christ-ian – literally means “little Christs” or “Christ-like, following Christ’s teachings and lifestyle”.

      Where Peter was very instrumental in the early Church, especially in reaching the Jews with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That being said, The Apostle Paul (previously Saul) was the Apostle to the Gentiles. Neither of which started their own sect or “religion” under their own names. They only spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      (All specific references to words used in the Bible come from, Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments)

      –Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • In your commentary on the “rock” you might also note that the plain meaning of a text is the changing of Simon’s name to Peter–a name–that Jesus amplifies to note that Peter, by divine decree, does indeed give a foundation upon which the Church will grow followed by Linus, Cletus, Sixtus, Cornelius, et al. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is that His followers will be “one as You and I are one.” The oneness of the Persons of the Trinity is profoundly one. A quick glance in the telephone book under the heading of “church,” however, shows the shameful reality that we lack oneness which Jesus said would “bear witness” to the world. The Church is the Spouse of Christ and He is not a bigamist. Let us be one in the Church!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Betty Thacker

     /  March 21, 2016

    Very good word ! Thank you !

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  18. Adam

     /  March 21, 2016

    I believe the observation of the desciples show that Christ’s glorified body passed thru the wrappings, leaving them rolled up in the position where his head and body were laid, noting that the position of His head was separate from the body wrappings.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Reading John 20:7 and following, the body’s clothing was just lying where it was, as if the “body” had just passed through it, thus in a heap – not thrown, not unrolled and/or re-rolled and placed somewhere else, but just lying in a heap where they would have fallen when His body, having disappeared from being inside the clothes, had just fallen or collapsed in place. The special thing about all of this is what happened to the face cloth – it had not just fallen not having a face/head underneath it, but it had been folded in its place, neatly… And the story continues as written.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  19. Deborah Brisco

     /  July 7, 2015

    Yes he is!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  20. Ann

     /  April 9, 2015

    Love this. Truly think we need to know traditions of Jesus’ time to gain ultimate benefit from reading bible…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • I agree, Ann. Unfortunately, I’m not the one to teach them, although, there are books on the subject that I’m sure you could find out there. Let me know if you find it. –Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  21. Mary

     /  April 8, 2015

    I think this is a great story. I told it at the dinner table Easter Sunday. There is one defference. I believe the body wrap was hard and Jesus came out the top leaving it like a cocoon shape and He folded the head wrap. He is coming back!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • That is awesome, Mary. I’m glad that you were able to share the evidence of God’s power through the resurrection of Jesus. I’m not sure why you might think, though, that the body wrap was hard, being left like a cocoon and He only folded the head wrap. As Jesus portrayed later by walking through a wall and also a door, He was totally able to molecularly pass through (like a ghost, as one might think) the solid material, fabric included. If He truly was risen, then there would be nothing inside the wrap to keep its shape. If you are thinking of a form much like a mummy, I can understand that but, with the mummy, the body remained within the wrap and that kept the shape – if the wrap, at the time a mummy might have been found, were hard, it would be because of many years of sitting and drying. As with Jesus, the wrap didn’t cover Him for very long, plus, having not been there very long, the fabric would not have had the time to “harden” into a cocoon like shell.

      But, as you say, He is coming back! Regardless the technicality of the grave clothes. God bless you, Mary!
      –Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  22. Bernadine Hardin

     /  April 7, 2015

    Wow, what a great revelation. I had never put it together like that. Yes, He will be back.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  23. Doug

     /  April 6, 2015

    I did not know what that meant until now what a blessing it is

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  24. mac

     /  April 6, 2015

    So amazing I thought it was amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  25. Lucy munoz

     /  April 6, 2015

    I always question that scripture thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you for commenting, Lucy. If you continue to have any questions about that, there are quite a few articles listed below this article that could help you to clear up your questions. If you have specific questions that you don’t want published, you can go to my contact page and drop me a personal e-mail and I will be sure to get back to you. I pray for God’s leading in your life. –Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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