Published on
November 26, 2023

Nehemiah 3

"The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors..."

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Nehemiah 3
“Also the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars.  And next to them Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, made repairs. Next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs. Next to them Zadok the son of Baana made repairs. Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.” Nehemiah 3:3-5 (NKJV)

I believe that Jerusalem is the center of the world. I know it may seem a bit mystic to some, but I am not alone in that belief. Israel dominates news coverage more than any other country in the world, and what is happening in Jerusalem dominates the coverage of Israel. Furthermore, according to Revelation, the entire world will be driven to Israel for a final battle. When it is all said & done, the city that will descend from Heaven is literally the “New Jerusalem  .”Center of the world.

In ancient days, the center of Jerusalem was the Temple, with the Ark of the Covenant at the Temple’s center. Because of Jerusalem’s “central” position in the world and God’s presence in the Temple, many theologians consider the gates of Jerusalem to be symbolic of how one must “enter in” to meet with God. Perhaps, we should consider their rebuilding… Going with that thought, the “Fish Gate” is considered to be representative of evangelism.  

“Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’” Luke 5:10b (NIV)

To be honest, the narrative of “who was rebuilding & where” can be pretty dull. But here, in chapter 3, we have a bit of drama. The nobles of T’koa would not labor toward the Fish Gate. As another translation puts it, “they would not submit themselves to supervision.”  Regardless of the debate concerning the symbolic nature of Jerusalem’s gates, one thing is true: Nobility does not mix with evangelism.

Here is what I mean. To evangelize, we must make ourselves uncomfortable and literally be “servants.” We must be willing to risk our images, dignity, and reputations to share the gospel. It takes getting out there among the “unwashed masses,” so to speak. In other words, we must be willing to smell like fish to catch them!  

Nobility, by definition, is directly opposed to evangelism. Nobility rejects servanthood and is preoccupied with “deserving.”  Nobility says, “I am too good for this. I don’t deserve to be treated this way!”  And when you break it down, “de-serve” means to “lessen, or completely diminish” a servant’s role. Nobility cannot evangelize.

Are you living out your calling to share the gospel? Are you boldly evangelizing with humility, or are you paralyzed with nobility? Do you refuse to do the work of an evangelist because it is “beneath you,” afraid of what people might think of you?   As Jesus did for you, do for others. Let’s humble ourselves and build that Fish Gate!

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