Fence Post of Faith for Sept. 2012

Well it has been a busy summer and Renea is kicking back up with barrel race as we speak. I went on a Mission Trip to Bethany, West Virginia the second weekend in July to do work out there, it was an inspiring trip to say the least, and met a lot of great folks there as well.


The story I want to share with you is, we dined in the college dining hall, and ate dinner with a retired pastor from W.V. named Dennis, we were almost finished eating and Dennis got up and left , I being the nice guy that I am picked up his tray and took it to the kitchen. I came back and finished my ice cream and Dennis walked up and said, where did my plate go and I responded,  I took it to the kitchen. Dennis said I wasn’t done, but that’s ok, did you pay attention to the napkin?  


I was kind of dumb-founded and he said what does it say in John 20:7, he proceeded to tell me “Why did Jesus Fold the linen burial cloth after His Resurrection? I guess I never noticed this before…


The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.


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 the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him! Peter and the other disciples ran to the tomb to see… The other disciples out ran Peter and got there first. He stooped 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 the 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!’


After Dennis’s story of the napkin it hit me like a ton of bricks. What did Jesus tell us?  “HE IS COMING BACK” so I will look at the napkin in a different light next time we go out to eat or any time I finish a meal.


Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”


Adios Jeff Metcalf