A Certain Young Man

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.

About the Author

John Koedyker
John Koedyker

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.