The Wind Blows Where it Wishes

From the book of John, I heard someone recently refer to this as the “recovery gospel.”  So I’m going to get into this and find out what he means by that.  Already, I’m getting in over my head here in chapter 3, but I’m gonna do it anyway.

 

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”   Nicodemus was a man of power and position, he was risking a lot to come and talk to Jesus.  That’s why he’s coming under cover of darkness.  Jesus is early in ministry, but has made himself known.  He’s already turned water into wine (there’s a party trick for ya) and other miracles, and people are noticing.  

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”   So Nicodemus has come so far and risked so much by coming to see Jesus and being honest that he believes he has the power of God.  He is probably expecting a pat on the back from Jesus, maybe a part in His ministry.  He is a man of power and position, after all.  Instead, Jesus blows him up with an answer he is totally unprepared to understand.  He tells Nicodemus he must be born again, to have his faith completely rebuilt and redone.  Nicodemus, totally unable to comprehend Jesus’ answer, takes him literally, thinking he can not be born from his mother again.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.   Jesus was announced into ministry by John the Baptist baptizing Him in the Jordan River, surely Nicodemus had heard of this.  But Nicodemus would also have know the prophet Ezekiel predicting this would come centuries earlier – “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel‬ ‭36:25-27‬ ‭ESV‬‬. When we are born into this world, we are born sinners into a sinful world – That which is born of the flesh is flesh.  When we are “born again,” and repent (turn away) from our sin, we are born of the spirit, and the spirit can begin his work within us.  He can begin re-forming us into His image spiritually, beyond us being made in His image physically.

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”   Some things are just meant to be mysteries.  2000 years after this meeting, even the wind is still largely a mystery to us.  We have gained so much scientific knowledge, but the gentle breezes that blow around us are still mysterious.  Rainstorms pop up unexpectedly.  Thunder booms, lightning crashes.  Tornadoes touch down where they will.   We know so much, but we really can barely predict even the  chances of these things.  We still really don’t understand.  Just like we don’t understand things spiritual.  Instead of learning more, we probably understand less now, the further away we get from Jesus, the Law, and the Prophets.  This is a stumbling block for us, we think we are so smart.  We want to understand and know it all.  But we simply can not empirically measure the things of the spirit.  We have no understanding of the dimensions of heaven and hell.  They are simply to remain a mystery until we are called to know.  


“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.””
‭‭John‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/jhn.3.1-8.esv

 

John Lewis
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