What significance is the naked man in the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested, Mark 14:52.

he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.

  • Welcome to BHSX - thanks for your question. Please remember to take the tour (link below). Questions here need a specific Bible passage to be answered so I have added one for you.
    – user25930
    Apr 21, 2019 at 22:35
  • Relevant to your question is Mark 16:5, the young man, clothed, in the sepulchre.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 23, 2019 at 5:28

1 Answer 1


It is interesting that, of the four evangelists, only Mark (14:52) records this detail of one of the disciples fleeing naked. It demonstrates several things about the feelings and events that night. To understand, being naked, to a first century Jew was a source of supreme shame and no self-respecting Jew would ever be found uncovered or unclothed.

The nakedness of Jesus during his flogging and execution was part of the imposed humiliation of the victim of crucifixion was intended to add to their misery.

Therefore, for a man to flee naked we must conclude several things:

  • The mob was trying top arrest this man and grabbed his clothes to take hold of him but he left them behind. That is, the mod was also trying to take some of the disciples as well despite Jesus request to let them go (John 18:8)
  • The fleeing man obviously panicked and was more frightened of being arrested with Jesus than of being naked - a rather extreme choice to make!
  • The source of panic was presumably a mixture of fear of the Roman authorities (being used by the chief priests) and extreme disappointment that Jesus did not exercise or at least display His divine authority as Messiah to prevent this catastrophic turn of events. For more than three years these men had given up everything for Jesus because they thought He was Messiah and now it appeared to have come to nothing!

The Pulpit commentary observes:

But he left the linen cloth, and fled naked. This somewhat ignominious flight is characteristic of what we know of St. Mark. It shows how great was the panic in reference to Christ, and how great was the hatred of the Jews against him, that they endeavored to seize a young man who was merely following with him. It shows also how readily our Lord's enemies would have seized his own disciples if they had not taken refuge in flight.

  • Do you know what the Pulpit commentary is referring to when it says "characteristic of what we know of St. Mark"? If this young man is Mark he would have stopped running not very far from the area, which doesnt fit the context very well to me. Also why would he have only a linen cloth on at this point? It sounds to me like another person.
    – GFFG
    Apr 21, 2019 at 23:33
  • We do not know who this person was. "Characteristic of Mark" is presumably his liking for this that occur suddenly and without warning. He uses the word "immediately" more than anyone else.
    – user25930
    Apr 22, 2019 at 2:24

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