of the Spirit

John 3

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

When you read John 3, your mind probably immediately thinks of John 3:16, which is arguably the most famous verse in the Bible. But, as I read deeply into this chapter, I found there is so much around this famous verse that we may have skimmed over. Don’t get me wrong, John 3:16 is pivotal in the Christian faith; however, let’s take a more in depth look of what Jesus says to Nicodemus.

It is believed that Nicodemus was part of the Jewish council that was sent to investigate all that John the Baptist was doing. After some investigation, they clearly found nothing blasphemous and only found John pointing to Jesus as the Messiah. How amazing would that be if someone investigated your life and found nothing but Jesus? Something to think about as you continue to read.

What I love about this conversation is that Nicodemus never actually asked a question, but Jesus recognized the wondering of his heart. The very first thing that comes out of Jesus’ mouth obliterates all that the Jews taught and believed. Since they were considered to be descendents of Abraham (a racial birthright), they were assured a place in Heaven. With that understanding, Jesus purposefully and strongly says that the only way to obtain eternal life is to be born again (spirit birth).

At that point, Jesus could have shooed Nicodemus off because he should understand what Jesus is saying since he is a scholar of the Old Testament. But, Jesus lovingly continues to explain the meaning behind His statement.”That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (verse 6). The flesh is tainted and can never live up to the righteousness of God. So, Jesus is pointing out the desperate need for the new birth of the Spirit. In other words, Jesus is saying, “Nicodemus, your fleshly birthright is not what will get you into Heaven. You need a renewal of your spirit through the Spirit (my own paraphrase).

Then, Jesus explains the effects of the Spirit on our lives. Look at our key verse this week: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (verse 8) Have you ever walked away from a conversation or interaction with someone and thought, Wow. There is something  different about that person. ? Or maybe there have been moments in your life that God has spoken to a fellow believer about your exact need and it was met right when you needed it. That is the Spirit.  It reminds me of Billy Graham’s quote, “Can you see God? You haven’t seen Him? I’ve never seen the wind. I’ve seen the effects of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind…”

When we are led by the Spirit,  we will witness and participate in things that are beyond our imagination. Reflecting on my own life, I have seen the Spirit move in ways I never expected, but I also wonder how much I have missed out on due to walking in the flesh. My prayer is that we don’t miss this. The Jews were looking for a Messiah to bring in a new world, but Jesus came to give new life. Jesus wants us to not just merely survive but to thrive in this earthly place. And the only way to truly live in this world is not of the world but of the Spirit. 

be free. xo

Leah

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