Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel. Nehemiah 3:1
I remember a time when I was young and we went and visited an old country church. We went into the sanctuary and found the pastor, an elderly gentleman, vacuuming the carpet. I told him I was surprised to see him in there. He responded, “With me, you don’t just get preaching. You get vacuuming, dish washing, mowing. You get it all.” I have never forgotten the impression that had on me. I hope I never forget that lesson as I try to pastor the congregation the Lord has placed in my care.
In this verse we see something very striking. The priests did not sit out. They took responsibility for their portion of the wall and worked.
It is fitting that the spiritual leaders would also lead by example in the physical work.
It is fitting also that the priests would work on the sheep gate. This is the area where sacrifices were let into the city and taken to be washed and sacrificed in the Temple. This is why sanctification of the area was necessary. Nehemiah shows that all rebuilding projects in our lives must begin at the cross of Christ!
It is fitting to see the religious leaders lead by example. In this modern era of corporate mentality in the church, I think we can easily lose focus on our purpose and duty to God and his people in our church.
Fellow pastors, let us not be guilty of teaching our flock to do what we say and not what we do. Let us lead by example.