Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
April 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM
A Certification Dialog With Jesus
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday April 27, 2014
A Certification Dialog With Jesus
“ But Thomas...said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of he nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” ( John 20: 24, 25 )
The sermon today culminates the 2014 Easter Series. 
It is anchored in the post resurrection appearances 
of Jesus. As has been the focus of the Easter Series, this 
last sermon will hopefully draw you, the hearers and 
readers, mentally back to the second week following 
Resurrection Sunday. It will encompass the following three 
objectives, namely: to highlight the appearance of Jesus to 
the disciples; to analyze the reaction of Thomas upon 
hearing of the news that Jesus was alive; and to suggest 
the appropriate posture that we should have concerning 
the resurrection of Jesus. 
Since the Resurrection of Jesus is generally known 
and has been highlighted through sermons, Easter 
Programs, dramas, musicals, and media production, 
no attempts are herein made to focus attention on that 
glorious event, instead, the emphasis will be directed 
to the earlier specified concerns, the first of which is - 
The appearance of Jesus to the disciples. The evangelist, 
Saint John, reports that “...the same day at evening, being 
the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where 
the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews...” Jesus 
came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them ‘Peace 
be unto you ’. Obviously, the disciples were petrified, first, 
because Jesus came through the closed door, secondly, 
that he had arisen, and thirdly, he did not condemn them 
for shrinking away from him during the crucifixion process. 
Instead, Jesus said unto them, “ Peace be unto you as my 
Father hath sent me, even so send I you”. He further, 
breathed on them, and saith unto them ‘ Receive ye the 
Holy Ghost ’ ( Lk. 20: 21-22 ). 
What a feeling of relief the disciples must have felt in 
that Jesus did not mention their withdrawal from him, rather 
he appeared unto them, breathed on them the Holy Ghost 
and give them a spiritual assignment. 
The disciples glorified in the fact that Jesus had risen 
and anxiously await to share the news with Thomas who 
was absent when Jesus appeared. Upon his arrival, the 
disciples joyfully told Thomas about their experience with 
the risen Savior. The reaction of Thomas leads to the 
second phase of this sermon which is - The reaction of 
Thomas upon hearing the news that Jesus had been in their 
presence. Instead of rejoicing with statements such as - 
how did he look, did he seem exhausted, and did he 
express disappointment in us, Thomas seemed to have 
doubts about the accuracy of the disciples’ account of 
Jesus’ visit. Thomas expressed no regrets for having 
missed the appearance of Jesus and cited the conditions 
under which he would concur that Jesus had arisen. 
Because of his rigorous requirements to agree with the 
disciples that Jesus was alive, he became known as 
Doubting Thomas. 
He was described in All The Men of The Bible, as being 
zealous, inquisitive, and incredulous. In philosophy, he 
would be called a skeptic; in theology he would be labeled 
as an agnostic; and in lay terms he is viewer as a doubter. 
Thomas, while not questioning the authenticity of the 
disciples’ experience in seeing Jesus, said unto them, 
“Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and 
put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand 
into his side, I will not believe” ( Jn. 20:25 ). It is of interest, 
at this point, to note that Thomas never discounted the 
disciples’ report; rather, he clearly specified the condition 
under which he would agree that Jesus had risen from the 
dead. In essence, Thomas was expressing a desire for a 
certification dialogue with Jesus. Unknown to him, Jesus 
already knew of Thomas’ requirements to conclude that 
he was alive. Jesus was aware of Thomas’ method to 
certify him as the risen Savior; his knowledge came not 
from a disciple and long before the telephone, cell phone, 
face books and the social media. The question, thus, 
becomes how did Jesus know Thomas’s intention? Well, 
beloved the theological response is that Jesus, a part of 
the Triune God, is omniscient ( all knowing ) Ps. 139: 2, 4. 
Beloved, it is sincerely hoped that none of 
contemporary humanity would specify such requirements to 
accept the fact that Jesus has not only arisen but, also, has 
ascended back to the Father. ( Acts 1:9-10 ). 
Fortunately, Thomas had the opportunity to examine 
Jesus using his specified indicators. It occurred “ eight days 
again ( when ) his disciples were within, and Thomas with 
them; then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood 
in the midst, and said ‘Peace, be unto you.’ The saith he to 
Thomas, ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and 
reach hither thy hand, and thrust into my side; and be not 
faithless, but believing.’ ( John. 20:27 ). 
As noted in the Scripture, “...Thomas answered and 
said unto him, My Lord and my God”. ( John 20:28 ). “Jesus 
saith unto him, Thomas because thou hast seen me, thou 
hast believed: blessed are they that has not seen, and yet 
have believed”. ( John 20:29 ). 
While Thomas is often labeled as a skeptic, his meeting 
with Jesus resulted in an encouraging message that 
continues to have relevance to us here gathered and all who 
love the Lord; it is “...blessed are they that have not seen, 
and yet have believed” ( Ibid. ). 
In assessing the action of Thomas, Lockyer has 
three traits that seem to stand out in this individual: 
1. When he saw what he ought to do, nothing kept him back. 
2. When he saw what he ought to do, he only wanted to see 
how he was to do it. 
3. When he saw what it was he had to believe, he only 
wanted to know and do it.
Having examined Thomas’ requirement to certify 
that Jesus had risen from the grave, the question now 
becomes what should be our view on this critical reality? 
This inquiry and recommendation will constitute the third, 
and final, dimension on the sermon entitled - A Certification 
Dialogue with Jesus. It is an unfortunate fact that the Zeit- 
geist - concept that describes “the general intellectual, 
moral, and cultural climate of an era” within the Western 
World is more secular than spiritual, Additionally, the 
educational and entertainment arenas are being 
anchored by illusionary, philosophical, speculative, 
and imaginative approaches. Collectively, this orientation 
creates major difficulties when one tries to envision and 
explain spiritual realities. Yet, the Scriptures teach that 
God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship 
him in spirit and truth. ( John 4:24 ). Hence, we of today 
must have faith in the risen Savior rather than to seek 
to know him through empiricism or pragmatism. Remember, 
the words of Jesus to Thomas, “ blessed are they that have 
not seen, and yet have believed” ( John 20:29 ). Saint Paul 
echoed a similar message to the Hebrews when he penned - 
“...he that cometh unto God must believe that he is, and 
that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” 
( Heb. 1:6 ). So in conclusion, beloved, let us concentrate 
more on the glorious resurrection of Jesus rather than to 
raise questions regarding how it happened. Further, let us 
utilize our faith in the finished work of Jesus who challenged 
us to “ thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee 
a crown of life.” ( Rev. 2:10 ). Amen!
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