I’ve been looking at the passage of Scripture in John when the Pharisee, Nicodemus, sneaks over to talk with Jesus in the middle of the night. He believes Jesus was sent by God to teach them. He suspects there is more to this man. Nicodemus is seeking and looking for answers.
Jesus tells Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” He goes on to say, “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8
To understand more fully what Jesus is saying here we can look at Luke 17: 20-21 when Jesus talks to the Pharisees about where they will find the kingdom of God. “Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
The existence of the Holy Spirit living inside us sounds crazy to the Pharisees. It’s not what they are comfortable hearing about. There are no list of rules to adhere to. I love the example Jesus uses to explain the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus. The Spirit is like the wind that blows. Humans need to trust that it’s there, that it’s a powerful force, even though it can’t be seen.
After reading that, I had the following thought. Isn’t that just like Jesus? He is asking us to put our faith in something we can’t see. The miracle, he says, comes after we make the choice to believe and trust. It’s almost like Jesus asks us to put the “cart before the horse.” It sounds so backwards. How in the world is that cart ever going to move if it’s out front?! Yet, in Jesus’ upside down, crazy, beautiful world…somehow that horse takes off galloping!
Not sure that makes sense to anyone else but me. But that’s how faith and belief in the unseen operates. It sounds crazy and it looks weird. But once you “see” it in action…there is no denying its power!
What about you? How do you understand and make sense of the Holy Spirit?