The Spirit is Like the Wind

John 3: 1-8
Acts 4:23-31 / Psa 2

No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.
(John 3:3)

Like the wind we can feel or hear it,
Yet we don’t know where it comes or goes.
So it is with the Holy Spirit,
How He comes to us nobody knows.

A Pharisee named Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, came to Jesus in secret to let Him know that he believed Jesus was sent by God, “for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him” (Jn.3:2). Jesus told him, “No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Still, Nicodemus could not understand, (“how can a person once grown old be born again?”), so Jesus explained: “No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit”. . . “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear its sound, but you know not where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (Jn.3:6,8).

Reflection

Nicodemus’ predicament represented the basic problem of the Jewish leadership: the discerning eye to see beyond the obvious; the wisdom to accept as real what could not be seen or understood. Jesus made him understand that he must ‘see’ things divine not with the flesh, but with the spirit. It was perhaps these words that led to Nicodemus’ conversion. When the Sanhedrin convened to discuss what to do with Jesus, he was the only one who questioned their obvious bias against the Messiah. He said, “Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” But his peers mocked him, saying, “You are not from Galilee also, are you?” (Jn.8:50-52) Nicodemus eventually became a follower of Jesus. Together with Joseph of Arimathea, another secret disciple of Jesus, he came after the crucifixion bringing about 100 lbs. of spices to prepare the body of Jesus for burial. (Jn. 19:39)

We become intimate followers of our lord Jesus once we experience being “born of the Spirit.” Our friend Tony had been searching for life’s meaning all his life but could not even find any meaningful relationships. All his friends had married and raised families, but he could not seem to find his own niche in life. He soon fell under the influence of drugs and alcoholic drinks to escape loneliness and self-pity. Because of his addiction, Tony’s personality turned for the worse. He became uncontrollable and prone to violence. Desperate for help, his family turned to friends and relatives for prayers. He was finally prevailed upon to enter a rehabilitation center. Gradually the prayers of friends and family brought the ‘winds of change’ into Tony’s life. By the Spirit’s grace he saw the evil effects wrought by alcohol and metamphetamines, and resolved to overcome his addictions and help other victims win their personal battles as well. He began to see that only by the power of the Holy Spirit could the war against drugs and alcohol be won. Tony is now involved full-time in a personal crusade against drug and alcohol addiction and in the rehabilitation of their victims.

Now we understand, dear Lord, why You allow a failure to happen, so that from it a greater good may arise. Let your Holy Spirit rule our life to serve others. Amen.

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