God tests Abraham. Modern man often thinks of God as “cruise ship recreational director” whose task is give everyone a good time with no expenses spared. Our faith grows as it is tested (James 1:2-4) in just the same way our hearts get stronger when we exercise hard enough to be slightly out of breath!
It’s a strange test, sacrifice your only son, born after years of waiting when you are over 100 years old! Abraham is totally obedient to God and is trusting God will raise him up, even from the dead.
The site for the sacrifice is Mt Moriah, which will centuries later be the Temple Mount!
At the very last moment God provides! Isaac is saved and God provides a ram for a sacrifice. God knows Abraham’s heart ( He knew anyway) but now Abraham knows his own heart too.
The whole incident serves a type of Christ – The Father’s only Son who died for us.
Jesus arrives at Jerusalem and it is a triumphal one. The people have a growing expectation of the Messiah and think Jesus is a political Messiah. His manner of coming fulfills Old Testament Prophecy.
Jesus clears the Temple – the gospel writers often arrange their material by theme rather than chronology. John has this at the start of Jesus’ ministry, but the Synoptics place it towards the end as a last straw for the Jewish leaders. The “court of the Gentiles” that should have been a place for God fearing Gentiles to come and learn about following God has been cleared to make room for ripping off worshippers who need sacrificial animals and to change their temple tax money. Jesus is incensed that the place of prayer and enquiry is now a den of robbers ripping people off.
The next parables begin to highlight how the Jews will reject the coming kingdom and teh Gentiles will get to partake.
Is mainly a list of people, because individual people matter to God. Note how people are doing their gifting now – gatekeeping, singing, serving in the Temple and so on. At the start of the book everyone had to muck in to rebuild the walls, but as the people of God are established, they can do their gifting!
Paul is also heading to Jerusalem, knowing the end for him is not too far away (20:38).
Agabus prophecies that he will be bound – but notice how the Word of God shows us he was inaccurate in detail saying the Jews will bind Paul – it was in fact the Romans v33. That tells us that we prophecy in part and now in part. The authoritative word of God shows us that while prophecy is important it is not in the new covenant age 100 % accurate and needs weighing to get the gold nuggets!