6. The Fountain Gate

Nehemiah 3:15.  The Fountain Gate is located very close to the Dung Gate at the southernmost point of the wall.  In the spiritual life, the great promise of salvation is intrinsic to getting rid of our sin – or the rubbish that accumulates and hinders our relationship with our Holy God –  and the Dung Gate speaks to this, in order that the promise of Jesus is experienced, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:38).

In Nehemiah’s day it was likely the most damaged by the Babylonian invasion of 586 BC (2 Kings 25), and this is possibly because it was Jerusalem’s sole source of water from the Gihon Spring.  Thus, in the spiritual life, it becomes the focal point of demonic attack – Satan will stop at nothing to prevent a person experiencing the living water God offers.  Jeremiah had spoken into this in the years leading up to the Babylonian exile, prophesying that God’s people had “Forsaken the spring of living water” i.e. God Himself (Jeremiah 17:5-8,13). 

It is no accident that this Gate is also located very near to the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a blind man (John 7:9).  So when we come to Jesus and have our sins forgiven and experience the living waters of the Gospel, we, like the blind man, can see Jesus more clearly.  Which is why Psalm 36:9 says, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

This pool was a stopping place for worshippers on the way up to the Temple, where they could ritually cleanse themselves before they offer their sacrifices and worship. In the spiritual life, it is symbolic of the Holy Spirit filling the believer, a necessary aspect of the Christian life, for Jesus says in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  This means that going to the Temple without passing by the Fountain Gate of living waters and the Pool of Siloam, diminishes the act to mere religious activity, in the same way a person can go to church for years and years and still not have experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit, hence “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9).  This is why Peter says in his first sermon at Pentecost, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit(Acts 2:38).

Thus Jesus says at the beginning of the Gospel of John, “You must be born again” (John 3:3), and at the very end of the Gospel Jesus says to Peter – who had raised a question about what will happen to John, says to Peter, “…what is that to you?  You follow me” (John 21:22).

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