A Certain Young Man

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 14:51-52

And there followed him a certain young man . . . (v. 51 KJV)

At first reading, these two verses seem very strange. What would be the relevance of Mark mentioning “a certain young man”—an anonymous young man who really seems to play no part in the narrative? None of the other Gospels mention this incident. What could be going on here?

As I was pondering these verses, I happened to think of some of the classic movies of Alfred Hitchcock. In almost all of his movies, he inserts himself in a scene as a minor irrelevant character. It is like Hitchcock saying, “This is my movie. I made it. And this is the proof!”

It is possible that this is what Mark is doing in these verses. It could be his way of saying, “I was there. I actually saw this happen!” In other words, he is saying to his readers, “These words are true and reliable. You can trust what I am writing here because I was an eyewitness.”

When you think of it, with the disciples asleep, who would have seen the deep emotional and spiritual struggle of Jesus as he prayed to his heavenly Father? The answer most likely is this “certain young man” who stood silently in the shadows and was nearly arrested himself. Although too humble to mention his own name, Mark was perhaps saying, “This is a night I will never forget—because I was there.” —John Koedyker

As you pray, thank the Lord for witnesses like Mark, who accurately shared all that Jesus did and said, for our sakes.