|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:43-52 Because Christ appeared not as a temporal prince, but preached repentance, reformation, and a holy life, and directed men's thoughts, and affections, and aims to another world, therefore the Jewish rulers sought to destroy him. Peter wounded one of the band. It is easier to fight for Christ than to die for him. But there is a great difference between faulty disciples and hypocrites. The latter rashly and without thought call Christ Master, and express great affection for him, yet betray him to his enemies. Thus they hasten their own destruction.
Verse 51. - And a certain young man followed with him, having a linen cloth cast about him, over his naked body: and they lay hold on him. St. Mark is the only evangelist who mentions this incident; and there seems good reason for supposing that he here describes what happened to himself. Such is the mode in which St. John refers to himself in his Gospel, and where there can be no doubt that he is speaking of himself. If the conclusion in an earlier part of this commentary be correct, that it was at the house to which John Mark belonged that our Lord celebrated the Passover, and from whence he went out to the Mount of Olives; what more probable than that Mark had been with him on that occasion, and had perhaps a presentiment that something was about to happen to him? What more likely than that the crowd who took Jesus may have passed by this house, and that Mark may have been roused from his bed (it was now a late hour) by the tumult. Having a linen cloth (σινδόνα) cast about his naked body. The sindon was a fine linen cloth, indicating that he belonged to a family in good circumstances. It is an unusual word. In every other place of the New Testament where it is used it refers to the garment or shroud used to cover the bodies of the dead. The sindon is supposed to take its name from Sidon, where the particular kind of linen was manufactured of which the garment was made. It was a kind of light cloak frequently worn in hot weather.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there followed him a certain young man,.... Some think this was John, the beloved disciple, and the youngest of the disciples; others, that it was James, the brother of our Lord; but he does not seem to be any of the disciples of Christ, since he is manifestly distinguished from them, who all forsook him and fled: some have thought, that he was a young man of the house, where Christ and his disciples ate their passover; who had followed him to the garden, and still followed him, to see what would be the issue of things: but it seems most likely, that he was one that lived in an house in Gethsemane, or in or near the garden; who being awaked out of sleep with the noise of a band of soldiers, and others with them, leaped out of bed, and ran out in his shirt, and followed after them, to know what was the matter:
having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; which was either his shirt in which he lay, or one of the sheets, which he took and wrapped himself in, not staying to put on his clothes: though the word "Sindon", is used both by the Targumists (d) and Talmudists (e) for a linen garment; and sometimes even for the outer garment, to which the fringes were fastened (f); and he might take up this in haste, and slip it on, without putting on any inner garment: the word "body", is not in the text, and the phrase , may be rendered, "upon his nakedness"; and answers to in Genesis 9:23 and Leviticus 20:11, and the meaning be, he had only a piece of linen wrapped about his middle, to cover his nakedness; and in this garb ran out, to see what was doing:
and the young men laid hold on him. The Roman soldiers, who were commonly so called: so David's soldiers are called "young men", that were with him, 1 Samuel 21:4; these attempted to lay hold on this young man, taking him to be a disciple of Christ, or one at least affected to him, and did take hold of his linen cloth. The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions, leave out the words, "the young men". The design of Mark in relating this incident, is to show the rage and fury of these men; who were for sparing none that appeared to be or were thought to be the followers of Christ; so that the preservation of the disciples was entirely owing to the wonderful power of Christ.
(d) Targum in Psal civ. 2. & Lam ii. 20. (e) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 41. 1.((f) Ib. fol 40. 1.
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