I’ve read the resurrection story in John so many times but never gave much thought to the line which speaks about the face cloth (or napkin, as some versions put it) being folded and put to the side. But this morning our pastor shared something about Jewish culture in Jesus’ day. He said that when a master had finished his meal, he would take his napkin, wipe his face, and then scrunch it up and put it on the table. If, however, he folded it and placed it to the side, even if he got up and walked away the servant knew the master wasn’t done, that he would be back.
It’s crazy that I’ve read this passage most of my life and never understood why that little detail was put in there. I should have known, because God is intentional about everything :) I’m thankful for that folded napkin. He did, in fact, come back and show Himself to the disciples. He’s gonna show Himself to me too. I have His word on it!
Please note: This story has been challenged (thanks Jayden!) and it turns out that not everything one hears from a pulpit or reads in the internet is fact (surprise, surprise, lol). Here is a link to an interesting article on this subject.