Lessons from John 20: Men Are Clearly Different
Dr. Hannah brings out some good points that I would like to share with you. He says, “I find myself pondering Mary. Why was she, with the other women, the first to return to the tomb to express their love, devotion, and respect to Jesus on that Sunday morning, when the others did not?”
What does that tell us about our understanding of the emotional differences of men and women? He says, “Men tend to be goal-oriented and embrace disappointment by going on with life.”…Thus the men seem to be calloused because they do not grieve (they handle disappointment by thinking other things). While the women appear emotionally consumed seeing the gravity of the moment, thus refusing to move on. Illustrating for us, how hard it is that men find it hard to understand their wives and wives their husbands.”
He states that “Men handle things differently than women. The disciples cowered in fear while Mary and the other women sought to extend care. Mary wants to know all she can about the events; while the disciples express negative resignation. And then He asks, “Have you ever witnessed this in your marriage?”
Ladies, I repeat this not in order to slam or bash our husband’s, I say this that we might have a greater understanding of who they are and why it is that they do things the way that they do! Men are clearly different (God created them that way) and to expect them to be any different is wrong! It makes them who they are! The key is learning how to come together and be one as God is one!
It takes work and it takes effort, but it’s worth it! This is coming from a woman who is coming up on forty years of marriage and though I don’t claim that we have totally gotten it all together. What I can tell you is that God has taught me and is teaching me even now, to accept my husband for who he is and to be all that God has called me to be and then trust God for our future!
Well, it appears that two just couldn’t sit still. And so, we are told that Peter and the other disciple, already identified as John, who probably took this name as not to be confused with the John the Baptist who had come at the beginning as the forerunner, announcing the arrival of Jesus as, “The Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world,” while John, the disciple was happy to take the back seat.
Yet, wanting to see for themselves if what the women were talking about was true, Peter and John took off running. Apparently, it was important to John to let us know that he had arrived at the empty tomb first. And as he did, he shares with us that he stopped and took in the evidence that presented itself.
You see, entrances to tombs were normally about a yard or so high and with the sun rising at the dawning of a new day, there would have been sufficient light for John to see inside the tomb without entering in, which would have been considered a defilement, by entering a tomb with a dead body. Though there was nobody now as there had been just days before and so John was thinking and meditating on the situation as it presented itself, along with the report of the women.
But while, John was contemplating all of this, Peter, impetuous Peter, bursts on the scene and pushes past John who is standing at the tomb’s entrance and plunges himself right inside of the tomb, after which John follows behind.
And John tells us that once they had entered in they saw that there was no body. But the strips of linen were lying where the body had lain, but it was as if the body had just passed through it, leaving the strips of linen and spices as they had been after Jesus’ body had been wrapped in it! But there was one difference and that was that the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head was folded up by itself, and place separate from the linen.
It was at this that we are told that John was convinced. So, what was so important about the head dressing? Why would this convince John to believe that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead?
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 was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and then he would wad up the napkin and toss it onto the table. This was a signal to the servant that his master was done. And then the servant would appear and clear off the table.
But if the master got up from the table and folded his napkin, and laid it down beside his plate the servant would know to leave things as they were for the master would be coming back or returning soon. Therefore the folded napkin was a signal to the servant that the master was not done and that he would be back.
Principle: The empty tomb provides sufficient evidence to believe that Jesus has indeed risen from the grave.