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Mark's House: Site of Last Supper?
Reading between the lines can sometimes bring out fascinating details. Such is the case with Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark. Reading between the lines reveals a great story about his house. Now this is just a theory, but the different parts do seem to add up. And I will go ahead and tell you the theory and then lay out the parts: Jesus ate the Last Supper at Mark’s house. We can piece this together from four verses in the New Testament.
From Acts 12:12 and 13. Peter had been arrested by Herod Antipas (the son do Herod the Great) after Herod put James the brother of John to death. An angel appeared to Peter during the night in prison and led Peter out of the jail. From verses 12 and 13: “When this [escape] had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door.”
We find out several things from these verses. (1) Mark’s mother was named Mary. (2) Her house was a central gathering place in the early Christian movement. We know this because of two reasons: (a) As soon as Peter realized he was free he went straight to Mary’s house and (b) a lot of people had already gone there to pray for Peter. (3) She was wealthy. Verse 13 shows that a servant girl came to the door and let Peter in. Mary was wealthy enough to have live-in help; Peter came at night and she answered the door at night, which meant she probably lived there. So, Mark’s mother Mary was a wealthy woman whose home was recognized as an important gathering spot in early Christianity.
From Mark 14:51 and 52. Jesus had eaten the Last Supper with his Apostles and was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas appears with soldiers and walks up to Jesus and kisses him and the soldiers arrest Jesus. Then in verse 51 and 52: “A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him [the young man], he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.”
Now think about this: Jesus is with his Apostles, Judas comes up, and Jesus is arrested and taken away. Oh yes, and a boy who was there with only a blanket fled naked when a soldier tried to grab him. Wait, who cares about the boy? Jesus was just arrested! Well, the only one who would care was the boy himself. This is a good indication that Mark was in the Garden and only had a blanket wrapped around him and inserted this piece of information into his Gospel, when no one else would care; this fact is only listed in the Gospel of Mark.
So Mark was in the Garden. But there is something else. Remember that he is only wearing a blanket. That is odd. Why only a blanket? Hold on to that.
Next an archaeology fact: Most Jewish houses during the time of Jesus were smaller houses with four rooms. But Mary was wealthy and had a large house which probably meant that she had a second floor. And Jesus ate the Last Supper in an upper room, meaning on the second floor.
Tying it all together. So Jesus could have eaten his last meal in Mark’s house, since it was large and had an upper room and was recognized as a central location of the young Christian movement. Mark was downstairs, perhaps asleep. Jesus and the Apostles eat and then leave. Mark hears them leave and runs out with only the blanket. He follows them to the Garden and is in the group when Jesus is arrested. A guard reaches out to grab Mark, grabs the blanket instead, and Mark takes off running. And that is the rest of the theory.
©2010 Mark Nickens
Questions/comments contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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