In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin,
you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day.
The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant,
and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.
When the servant set the dinner table for the master,
he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it..
The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait,
just out of sight, until the master had finished eating,
and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.
Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table,
wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard,
and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.
The servant would then know to clear the table.
For in those days, the wadded napkin meant,
But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it
beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table,
The folded napkin meant,
'I'm coming back!'
John 20:1-7 The Passion Translation: Very early Sunday morning,[a] before sunrise, Mary Magdalene made her way to the tomb. And when she arrived she discovered that the stone that sealed the entrance to the tomb was moved away! 2 So she went running as fast as she could to go tell Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved.[b] She told them, “They’ve taken the Lord’s body from the tomb, and we don’t know where he is!”
3 Then Peter and the other disciple jumped up and ran to the tomb to go see for themselves. 4 They started out together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.[c] 5 He didn’t enter the tomb, but peeked in, and saw only the linen cloths lying there. 6 Then Peter came behind him and went right into the tomb. He too noticed the linen cloths lying there, 7 but the burial cloth that had been on Jesus’ head had been rolled up and placed separate from the other cloths.