While I love to read the Bible, study the Bible, and teach the Bible, I will confess that there are certain parts of the Bible that are much harder for me to read and apply than others.
Nehemiah 3 is one of those parts.
It’s a long list of names and clans and groups working on a long list of gates and doors and towers and walls. It reads like a general contractor recounting which crews are working and what they are working on. While I enjoy a good renovation project, Nehemiah 3 is admittedly not the most exhilarating of passages to read with your morning coffee. Along the same lines, I’d be willing to bet you’ve never known anyone to quote a verse from Nehemiah 3 as their “life verse.”
But zoom out and consider what’s happening. A variety of groups and individuals are working together in a variety of ways and places toward the same end goal–and 52 days later, despite plenty of opposition, the wall was complete and the surrounding nations perceived that God was at work (Nehemiah 6:15-16).
Now fast-forward–what if the church today functioned accordingly? A variety of men, women, and children implementing their God-given gifts and abilities toward the same end goal–to make disciples of one another and the world around them.
Imagine how quickly the mission of the church would be accomplished–to make disciples of all nations–if the church of Jesus Christ worked with the same unity and commitment displayed in Nehemiah 3. And it just might be the case that such a work would cause the kingdoms of this world to take notice, perceiving that God is at work among us.