Why did Jesus Fold the Napkin? – Folded Napkin in the tomb of Jesus brings people to wonder why did Jesus fold the napkin? Why did Jesus fold the burial cloth? on His Resurrection?
Why did Jesus Fold the Napkin?
I am sure you seen this story going around on the internet. With Easter coming up and the resurrection of Jesus I figured I would share this story. I saw this on Facebook. I am going to share with you the story and some research that I have done on this story. This story has been around since 2007 (maybe longer). I am also sure that some of this story has changed in some ways over those years too. There might be some differences or variations of this story.
This is a popular story that usually you hear about a lot during Easter, Resurrection Sunday. Easter can call as early as March and as late as April. This story you can say is a Springtime story. But, I believe this is notable any time of the year to learn about this story and if it has any significant meaning to it.
… and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.John 20:7 – Where the Story is based.
Why did Jesus Fold the Napkin?
Why did Jesus Fold the Burial Cloth?
Image from Trail to the Empty Tomb.
Why did Jesus fold the napkin or known as the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never noticed this….
The Gospel of John (John 20:7) tells us that the napkin, or known as the burial cloth, 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 placed at the head of that stony coffin.
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone 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 the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran 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.
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 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, “I’m coming back!”
Research on this story
Some versions of the Bible show napkin while others show burial cloth.
According to GotQuestions.com
It has been rumored that folding the napkin at the table is a Jewish custom that means the person folding the napkin intends to return. Numerous Bible study sources have been checked, but there is nothing about this alleged Jewish custom of the folded napkins. The only references to this story seem to be from internet postings and emails that appear to have originated in 2007.
According to FactorFiction.com
Additionally we talked with a Jewish rabbi friend of TruthOrFiction.com’s who has been a life-long Orthodox Jew, a Jewish scholar, and lives in Jerusalem, Israel, and he said he’d never heard of it
According to GraceThruFaith.com
John didn’t explain the meaning of the folded napkin in his gospel (John 20:7) Personally I believe the Lord folded the napkin to show that His departure was an orderly and voluntary act. It was proof that the tomb had not been robbed and His body had not been stolen, as some later claimed.
According to Propheticrevaltion.net
Back in the days of Jesus, the Jews, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans did not sit on upright chairs around the dining table with their legs underneath the table to dine as is portrayed by Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting, “The Last Supper”. Much like the Japanese people would sit on the floor around a low table to dine or they would recline on couches or cushions around a low table to dine. They would usually recline on one side while eating with one hand. There were no forks, no spoons and no knives on the table and certainly there was no table napkin.
So this story is just something possibly someone made up. We may not know the true reason why right now, but in due time when we are in heaven we may know the reason why. The search I found there is nothing about folded napkin as a Jewish tradition.
If you check out BibleGateway, you can see the various versions of that Verse John 20:7. (Just click on parallel). I seen it say burial cloth, cloth, napkin, face cloth, wrapping, handkerchief, and grave cloth. It also said in some versions it was wrapped, folded, and rolled.
Also doing research for “Jewish Folded Napkin” never came up with anything. So this I would say was never a custom of the Jewish faith. If you know differently, feel free to share and your resource to that place.
But never the less, there is No Bones About It! Jesus is Alive! He died to save us from our sins and overcame death and arose from the dead. I also used an image of the 2012’s Trail to Empty Tomb from New Market Baptist Church.
Yes, Jesus is coming back! He will return! But the folded napkin back then may or may not have had any significance, but a great way to share the gospel nonetheless. Like I said, God may reveal that purpose one day to us on the true meaning. Not just speculations.
Pastor Bob Neal of Piedmont Baptist Church mentioned a different meaning … It was used by carpenters to mean the job is finished and I will return to settle. We know Jesus was a carpenter and Jesus knew Peter would know. It was said to be folded in a special way that only carpenters would fold it.
So have you seen this story or another version? What do you think about this story? Do you have a theory on this story? Do you have something to share? Feel free to leave your comment.
Easter Blog Posts
Below is a list of blog posts that relate to Easter. Be sure to check them all out!
- 1 Cross, 3 Nails, 4 Given Church Sign
- 8 Things Jesus Accomplished on the Cross
- A-Z of Easter, The
- Amber Alert: Jesus Christ is Missing
- Arise My Love by Newsong
- Ash Wednesday, Day of Ashes
- Body of Christ
- Breakfast Pizza
- Broken Egg
- CEO Christians Church Sign
- Cracking the Tradition of Hiding Easter Eggs
- Create and Hide Unbreakable Easter Eggs
- Cross Acronym
- Cross of Jesus
- Cross Tree
- Dogwood Tree
- Drive-Thru Easter Egg Hunt
- Dye Eggs with All Natural Ingredients
- Easter celebrations in the era of social distancing
- Easter Egg Trunk Hunt
- Easter Finger Puzzle Printable
- Easter is Canceled
- Easter Lilies Can Kill A Cat?
- Easter Monday
- Easter Story Snack Mix Printable
- Easter Sweet Treats Makes Easter Special
- Easter Symbols
- Easter Trees
- Easter Word Search Printable
- Egg Rolling
- Empty Egg
- Free Easter Printables
- Good Friday
- Happy Easter “Resurrection Day”
- Hiding Easter Eggs
- History of Easter Bonnets
- Holy Monday
- Holy Saturday
- Holy Thursday
- Holy Tuesday
- Holy Wednesday
- Hot Cross Buns
- If Jesus Had An Obituary
- Importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
- It’s Not About the Bunny Church Sign
- Jelly Bean Face Mask
- Jelly Bean Prayer Printable
- Jesus Shows His Scars
- Lazarus Saturday
- Legend of the Donkey’s Cross
- Legend of the Sand Dollar Printable
- Legend of the Three Trees
- Let kites soar: A Lenten tradition takes flight
- Life Savers
- Make Easter Eggs Last
- Maundy Thursday
- Meaning Behind Easter Lilies
- No Bones About It – Jesus Is Alive!
- Palm Sunday
- Resurrection Bracelet
- Resurrection Rolls
- Searching for Christ
- Shrove Tuesday
- Silly Rabbit, Easter is for Jesus
- Snoopy & Woodstock Easter Face Mask
- Snoopy Easter Face Mask
- Son of God Movie Review
- Spy Wednesday
- Stay-At-Home Spring Printables for Kids
- Sweating Blood Prayer
- That’s My King Dr. S.M. Lockridge
- Trail to the Empty Tomb
- Truth About Easter Bunny & Easter Eggs
- That Tomb Is Still Empty, Easter Story Told by Two Kids
- Unique Easter Traditions from Around the Globe
- What if the Resurrection Happened Today
- What’s So Good About Good Friday?
- Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?
- Woodstock Easter Face Mask
- Words of Forgiveness by Saving Darkness
- You, Sin, Christ – A Simple Illustration
- You’ve Been Egged Printable
First published March 9, 2013. Last updated or republished on March 23, 2021.
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