“The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
A Pharisee, a leader of the Jewish nation, comes to Jesus by night. He recognises that Jesus has the power of the presence of God. Jesus tells him that nobody can see God’s kingdom unless thy are born from above.
Nicodemus takes this as a literal, or physical, saying, but Jesus tells him that he needs to be born of the Spirit, not just in the flesh. Jesus says that He testifies about heavenly things because He is from heaven.
God sent His Son into the world to save the world not to bring condemnation.
We know the wind- we hear it and see its effects. We appreciate a cooling wind on a hot day and we use the wind for sail boarding and flying kites. Some people even understand the physics of why the wind blows.
None of us understands where the wind comes from or goes to, or why it can be gusty one minute and calm the next. We don’t know the wind at all.
Everyone who is born of the Spirit is like that to those who are outside the Kingdom of God. I used to think this was talking about the ways of the Holy Spirit being mysterious, but it is those who are born of the Spirit- the christians- who are mysterious.
Who of those outside the Kingdom can understand our love for God’s word, our church gatherings, the mysteries of prayer?
As we learn to live in the grace of the Holy Spirit, the things we do become more and more distant from the ways of the world. In the best cases, the people of God are seen as worthy of respect or as gracious beyond imagining. A pastor hugs a man who days before had run over his little boy; a church that expresses love and forgiveness to a man who slaughtered a dozen at their prayer meeting.
“I could never do that,” they say. That is true because it is only the Holy Spirit who makes heroic grace possible.
Lord may I be a mystery to the world as I seek to be led by your Spirit. May I be a testimony of your power and grace. Amen.