Summary: The very group of men Jesus hand picked to be the foundation on which He would build His church were the first body of skeptics in the Christian church.
Ministers frequently call at a home when the man alone is there, and he will respond in
some such manner as this: "I'm sorry my wife isn't home. She takes care of the religious
matters in our home." I have not just read about this, but have experienced it, and have
wondered how it is possible to be so misinformed about the Christian life. Men in general
seem to think that spiritual matters are for women to handle. Men tend to be more skeptical,
and women tend to be more sensitive to spiritual things. Eve may have gotten the problem of
sin started, but men seem to have the biggest part in hindering God's solution to the sin
problem. For some reason men feel that faith is feminine and not to be associated with the
strong and self-sufficient image of the ideal man. Religion has the reputation of being a
crutch, and no man wants a crutch, for he wants to walk on his own.
This attitude has had an effect on the lives of even those men already committed to Christ,
and has made them timid. The message of Christ's manliness is missed, and even Christian
males slip into the background, and let the women do the work. It is no joke, but actual fact,
that many male responses to the call for missionaries is, "Here am I Lord, send my sister."
Statistics reveal this to be far from fictitious. Dr. Barton was not just trying to be funny when
In the world's broad fields of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
You will find the Christian soldier
Represented by his wife.
He was serious, and was stating a well known fact. However else men are superior to women,
they are statistically inferior in their commitment and devotion. Nothing could be more
unprofitable, however, then to rant and rave about the problem. More profit, I am sure, can
be gained by recognizing that this has always been the case. It is not new, but has been a
characteristic of men from the start.
The very group of men Jesus hand picked to be the foundation on which He would build
His church were of like nature. They were the first body of skeptics in the Christian church.
If they had not been convinced by the personal appearance of Jesus in their presence, they
would not have believed in the resurrection. If Jesus had not soundly rebuked them for their
skepticism, they would have been the greatest hindrance to the advancement of the cause of
Christ. The fact that Jesus did go to this length to convince them shows that in spite of the
fact that men are more skeptical and harder to convince about spiritual realities, yet, they are
responsible for the leadership of the church. They were the foundation, and once convinced
they were dynamos of devotion. Men are harder to win, but when they are won they are of
greater power, and power is what is needed to make Christianity appealing to other men.
There must be a Christ-centered manliness for the church to appeal to the masculine mind.
We want to consider how hard it was to even bring the Apostles to a state of belief and
commitment to the risen Redeemer. In contrast to the devotion of the women, we see in the
men, first of all-
I. DESPAIR DISPLAYED. v. 10
While the women, who are supposedly more emotional, were up early and out actively
doing something practical in the face of the great tragedy that had struck them, the men,
most of whom had fled, and, as far as we know, did not even see the crucifixion, as did the
women, were setting idle mourning and weeping in despair. They thought they were really
going to be something, and now the whole thing has proven to be a failure, and they are left
with no leader, humiliated and helpless, and with no further hope of establishing a kingdom.
They are sad sheep without a shepherd. Despair had immobilized them. They were in the
slough of despond. If the discovery of the empty tomb had depended upon them, the world
would have long remained in darkness and ignorance.
Someone has said, "Despair is the greatest of our errors." This was certainly true on this
resurrection day. All day long these men were in sorrow when the greatest event in history
had taken place. Christ was alive, and they were the key servants of this living king of kings,
and yet they lived in despair. These men give us a picture that is parallel with what is true in
millions of lives in every age. The good news is available, and eternal life in heaven, and
abundant life now is potentially theirs, yet while this good news is either unknown or