Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
May 3, 2015 at 10:45 AM
The Damascus Road
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday May 3, 2015
The Damascus Road
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest , thou me” Acts 9:3-4.
My dear readers - an apology is offered for the format last week owing 
to technical difficulties with the computer. EGSJ. 

The experiences of life involve innumerable 
movements. If by land, the movement is on a road, if by 
water, it is a sail, if by air, it is a flight, and if by the 
imagination, it is a vision or a dream. During Biblical times 
and the contemporary arena, the road is the most frequent 
mode of movement for the peoples of the world. 
Humankind uses the road for various travel purposes, 
some of which are sight seeing, emergencies, humanitarian 
assistance, to harm others, and to relocate - to list but a 
few reasons. There are several references to the word road 
in the Bible; one of them will be used to anchor the sermon 
for today entitled, The Damascus Road. The sermon has 
three parameters, or concerns, namely: the divine monitor 
of the travelers, the purposes of the traveler, and your 
daily traveling plans. 
Prior to examining these concerns, attention will be 
directed to the Scriptural Anchor of the sermon. It is lifted 
from the Books of Acts often referred to as the history of the 
church. “ forms the essential link between the gospel 
account of Jesus and the beginning of His church”. The 
authorship is attributed to Luke. “...most conservative 
scholars place the date of writing between A.D. 62 and A.D. 
From the promise of the Holy Spirit to come upon the 
apostles, its advent on the Day of Pentecost, Peter’s first 
sermon after the occurrence, there followed a series of 

events that contributed to the spreading of the church. The 
movement was not without opposition and one of the most 
zealous persecutor was Saul of Tarsus. It is his conversion 
on the Damascus Road that will undergird this sermon 
entitled The Damascus Road. Against this background for 
the text, the focus will now be shifted to the first concern 
of the sermon which is - The Divine Overseer of Travelers. 
It is so easy for an individual to take lightly or even neglect 
to recognize that there is a Divine Overseer over its life. 
David recognized this fact as reflected in his question - 
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee 
from thy presence?” ( Ps. 139: 7 ). Sadly, there are many 
individuals who disregard this question. Their neglect can 
stem from factors that include, but not limited to, social 
class, education, political position, assigned authority, 
nationality, and personal arrogance. The central person in 
this sermon, originally known as Saul, embodied several of 
these characteristics. He held dual citizenship, was highly 
education, a prolific writer, and seemed to enjoy 
persecuting Christians. He witnessed the stoning death of 
Stephen whose clothing was laid down at the feet of Saul. 
That experience seems to motivate Saul to request 
authority for a trip to Damascus to round up Christians and 
bring them back to Jerusalem. He had been given both the 
legal authority to ‘round up Christians’ and an ample number 
of soldiers to assist him, but he failed to recognize that the 
Divine eye was monitoring his action - a fact that leads to 
the second aspect of the sermon which is - the purposes 
of travelers. There are various reasons the taking a trip. 
Some are made to render humanitarian services for the 
the needy, some for mere personal travel, and some to harm 
others. The Bible contains two vivid examples of personal 
travel and to harm others. The first was on the Jericho Road 
and the second was on the Damascus Road. Shifting from 
Saul, attention will be directed to the Jericho Road. This 
road connects Jerusalem to Jericho; “... it is seventeen 
miles long, it is steep, winding, descending...” and 
dangerous. The narrative of this episode was given in 
a parable by Jesus. ( Luke 10:30-37 ). It depicts a person 
who was traveling down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He 
‘’...fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, 
and wounded him, and departed, leaving his half dead...”. 
Sadly, two high profiled individuals passed without offering 
assistance, but the Divine Overseer had preordained help 
for the wounded man. It would come from a person known a 
Samaritan who by current standards would be known as 
an under classed person. This parable shows that the God 
who can make the rocks cry out is fully capable of 
monitoring human action and intervening in accordance with 
His will. Moving from this fact, the emphasis will be placed 
on the Damascus Road where Saul’s agenda was changed. 
He was either insensitive to or had a disregard for God’s 
power of Divine Intervention and, therefore, he traveled on 
the Damascus Road with the intent of imposing harm on 
the Christians at Damascus. He was viewed as one of 
Christianity’s “...most zealous enemies”. He was fully 
authorized by the appropriate official to make the 
journey to Damascus, but he failed to realize that there 
is a power beyond the one who authorized his trip to 
Damascus. However, he discovered that power while 
on the journey. It was evident “ he journeyed , he came 
near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him 
a light from heaven. And he fell to the earth, and heard a 
voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou 
me”. Beloved, he was mentally aware of the voice as 
reflected in his question, “Who art thou, Lord?”. The 
episode continued, not fully included in this sermon, and 
he became a convert to Christianity. One writer has noted 
that Saul, who later changed his name to Paul, “was 
hand-picked by Jesus Christ to become the gospel’s most 
ardent messenger”. Although he started on the Damascus 
Road to impose harm on the Christians at that location, 
he was changed by Divine intervention to become the 
great New Testament writers ( 13 of the 27 Books ) the 
scholarly theologian, the taker of three missionary 
journeys to spread Christianity, and the prophet of 
forth coming apostasy. Having highlighted some 
experiences of Paul’s ( originally known as Saul ) on 
the Damascus road, attention is now turned to the final 
concern of this sermon which is - which of these two 
roads - Jericho or Damascus - best characterizes your 
daily traveling? To help you decide, a brief description is 
herein presented of each road. If it is the Jericho Road, 
this means that you are merely going about your normal 
routine, you have no evil thoughts toward others, and 
you are thankful to God for another day. It must be noted, 
however, that the Devil is always busy so you must be ever 
mindful of his tricks. Therefore, you must be patient if bus 
is late, careful is driving, watchful if walking, and keep 
your mind in a prayerful mode. Remember, “The Jericho 
Road is always with us. The Jericho Road is any place 
where people are robbed ( where people are assaulted ) 
where people are robbed of their dignity, robbed of their 
funds, and even robbed of their physical independence. 
Hence, my beloved, we must always be prayerful, watchful, 
and tarry not along on the Jericho Road. A guiding Scripture 
to embrace while on The Jericho Road is “ I will life up my 
eyes unto the hills from whence comes my help”. 
( Ps. 121:1 ). 
Admittedly, there are many who chose to follow the 
Damascus Road. Those travelers are driven by an urge to 
out perform their coworkers, to betray persons of their 
dislike, to be envious of those judged to be above them 
in status, opportunities and even blessings. Those 
Damascus travelers, like unto Saul, “breeze out threats’ 
and harbor evil thoughts toward others; further, they yearn 
for an opportunity to create discomfort for those deem 
to be adversities. 
While the Damascus traveler may be an individual, it 
must be acknowledged that this perspective is evident 
with the larger society. Within America, this orientation 
is visible in the political arena where existing and proposed 
legislation is seeking to bound segments of the population 
and, symbolically, bring them back to or further down in 
poverty. But those politicians and other Damascus Road 
travelers will do well to recognize that there is a power 
above ‘money pacs’ that in God’s time will “suddenly shine 
round about ( the power structure ) from heaven”. And the 
unjust machinery will fall to the earth, and a voice will be 
heard saying ...why perpetrate such injustices again my 
handiwork, of which you are a part. Beloved, the outcome 
is left in the hands of The Almighty God. 
In closing, chose ye the road on which you will travel 
and remember that God is monitoring and intervening on 
both of them as per His will. Amen.
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