Abraham’s wife dies at the age of 127 and Abraham would like to bury her. This chapter is a discussion he has with the Hittites about buying a burial plot. They want to give him a plot, but he insists on paying for it. So what?
Abraham had no right to buy land as a foreigner, so to sell it to him would set a precedent. Abraham astute as ever manages to blag paying for the land. He is showing his commitment to remain in the land until all of God’s promise has come to pass.
The parable of the wedding banquet serves two purposes
1) The expected recipients of the invitation (Jews) are interested.
2) So others are invited to come (Gentiles)
3) Uninvited guests get chucked out
You need to come to God the right way – through Jesus. Although we choose to come, He has already chosen us.
The Pharisees clearly don’t like this parable, so they try to trick him with a question about taxes. Jesus is a smart cookie and answers well!
Next the Saducees who also didn’t like the parable come to test Jesus. They are “sad-u-see” because they don’t believe in the resurrection so they come up with a bizarre marraige and remarriage scenario at the resurrection. Jesus tells them – you don’t know Scripture or the power of God.
So now the Saducees and Pharisees come together to trap Jesus. What’s the greatest law? Jesus replies with love God and love your neighbour.
Paul has been arrested and makes his first defence before the crowd. It goes well up to the point he tells them that God has called him to go to the Gentiles. The Jews are ultra nationalistic at this time and have forgotten the mission of God Genesis 12 – the call of Abraham to be a people to bless the nations.
The Romans soldiers are about to flog him when Paul drops the bombshell that he is also a Roman citizen. The modern day equivalent would be the CIA about to waterboard someone who says, “hold on I am a US congressman!”
The Roman commander then arranges to get everyone together the next day to sort the mess out.
Nehemiah organises the party for celebrating job done with rebuilding the wall. God loves a party! There was great rejoicing with two choirs marching round the walls.
Then more people are appointed to serve God and His people, singers, gatekeepers and storemen to look after the giving and ensure the workers for God are fed well.