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The Time That it Takes

It is better to finally believe what at first I could not say than to say at first what I do not believe.


At the end of the Sermon on the Mountain, Jesus Christ made an amazing claim. He said those who hear his words, in which our Lord claimed to be the fulfillment of the law, and do them are wise. They are building their house on a rock. Those who hear his words and don’t do them are foolish. They are building their house on sand. And then he says, when the storms come, the house built on rock stands, and when the storms come, the house built on sand falls. Matthew makes the comment that when the people heard the Sermon on the Mountain, they were amazed. He did not teach like the rabbis they were used to. He spoke with authority.

But there is a gap between hear and do. I want to talk about that today, the gap. There is a lag time. Our Lord preserves it in the way he ends his Sermon on the Mountain: “Those who hear my words and do them.” So there is a period of time between hearing and doing. He tells a parable on the Monday of Holy Week, the day after Palm Sunday when great crowds honored Christ. That honor itself bothered the Pharisees because the crowds sang the Hallel to Jesus. The Hallel psalms, Psalms 113 to 118, are the most messianic part of the Book of Psalms.

The stones that the builders have rejected has become the chief cornerstone. They said the words, “Hosanna, Lord help us.” And the Pharisees said, “You should tell your disciples to be quiet. They shouldn’t sing this.” And Jesus said, “If they don’t sing, the very rocks would cry out.” On the Monday after that, Jesus came into the temple area and spoke in the Court of Women, which is where he ordinarily taught so that Greeks could listen to him and women could listen to him as well as ...

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Earl Palmer is a writer and speaker for Earl Palmer Ministries, and author of Mastering the New Testament: 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation (W Publishing Group).

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