ANDRÉ DURAND Twenty-First Century Paintings

THE SPIRIT IS WILLING by André Durand (2007) ()



Oil on linen


38Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26: 38-41

51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

Mark 14:51-52 (King James Version)

Mark’s Mysterious Youth in the Linen Cloth

There is general agreement that Mark wrote both the canonical Gospel, the one in the Bible, and this Secret Gospel passage. Not all scholars agree which one he wrote first. Raymond E. Brown agrees with Smith’s own conclusion that the canonical Gospel was written first and then the passages in question were added for those who were ready for more esoteric instruction, what Clement calls “into the great mysteries.” For our purposes, the sequence is not important.

In the Secret Gospel passage, we are told that six days after his initiation, Lazarus came to Jesus in the evening. In John 12,1 we are told that the supper at Lazarus’ house was six days before the Passover. Since Jesus was tried and put to death immediately after the Passover, these two passages clearly are describing the last six days of Jesus’ life. This means that the supper at Lazarus’ house followed immediately upon his “raising,” as its placement in the Gospel suggests.

…Since the Secret Gospel refers to Lazarus as a “youth" who came to Jesus in the evening … wearing a linen cloth over his naked body,” can there be any doubt that the “young man following [Jesus] with nothing but a linen cloth about his body” in Mark 14,51 is anyone else?