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 anew.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can this be?”
Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. (John 3:5-13)Jesus speaks of being born of water and the Spirit. Jesus then qualifies this by saying that the water is equivalent to being born of the flesh (as a human), but that which is born of the Spirit is a different dimension again. Nicodemus for a second time displays his ignorance of spiritual rebirth, having done this previously. This is because spiritual rebirth is not a set of doctrines or possessing knowledge of any sort, rather it is about matters that are real and can be proven in the present time; spiritual rebirth is about an experience. Spiritual rebirth is very real for those who are born from above by the Spirit of God.
Nicodemus is like so many eggheads: people who are puffed up with knowledge and their own opinion. Yet unlike those people, Nicodemus has approached Jesus because of what he had heard, and possibly seen himself, concerning miracles such as this woman being healed from lip cancer (click here).
The idea that there was more to life than the physical seemed difficult for the materialist Nicodemus to understand. Many people today think that they can understand everything, except what happens after death. Although what happens after death is the most important question each person needs to understand, because this is an eternal matter.
Jesus demonstrates those who are materialist in their thinking need to realize some truths about life. The idea that wind cannot be seen but can be felt should surely indicate that there is more to life than what can be seen by the naked eye. Those who are so bogged down in their materialist thinking are the ones who are missing out on the truths of life. They are born into this world, delivered in their mother's water (amniotic fluid), but it is not until they breathe that they are alive as a child. Yet this same air that children breathe does not need to move like the wind for a child to live. However, the materialist will tell us that this is oxygen that keeps us alive—ask them to prove it and they have problems. Nevertheless, they forget that when they are under water, the oxygen in H2O does not keep them alive. Nicodemus was thinking like this. Consequently, Jesus said that Nicodemus was not recognized by those who really matter: the Father and the Son of God—who searches the hearts of people by the Spirit of God.
If people cannot grasp that the simple truths around them point to the true spiritual realities of life, then they will not understand spiritual truths. They might learn doctrines, develop theories and philosophy based upon false premises, but unless they recognize, in humility, that they are part of Creation and they need to know the Creator, their lives are futile. Being born to die and being able to conceptualize eternal life is a torment that people unconsciously seek to relieve. This is why people develop philosophies about life to dull the pain of the internal worm that develops and eats at us as we grow older, when we have no assurance of our eternal destiny.
As the wind blows, we can see its presence in the leaves of trees, long grass, dust, sand, clouds and as it turns glass-like water into ripples, and then, maybe, choppy waves. We can feel it on our skin. We can hear the sound of its presence as the leaves rustle. Likewise those who are born of the Spirit produce the effects of the Spirit within them. If we have ears to hear, we will notice that those who are born of the Spirit will change in their confession and produce the fruit of the lips. This is what the Bible states:
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:15)Numerous people are like Nicodemus. They lack spiritual experience. They have not realized that they are spiritual beings who need to exercise their right to call out to God and seek Him so that they might find Him. For the Bible is very clear about our being placed on Earth for the very purpose that we might realize our need to know our Creator:
And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us. (Acts 17:26-27)The Apostle Paul says that we are to feel after God. The Spirit of God is like the wind. For as we can feel the wind, but cannot see the wind, only its effects, likewise we cannot see God. We can only see the effects of our Creator's existence. If we are sensitive enough to recognize the truth that we are being called to seek Him, then we might feel His presence and know we have found Him. If we know we have found God, others will begin to know because we will produce the fruit of lips and the fruit of the Spirit which includes love, joy and peace; qualities that we can feel and which assure us of our relationship with the Holy Spirit and our Salvation.
When Jesus was using the wind as an Earthly example of a Heavenly phenomenon, we can see that not only was He attempting to describe what being born of the Spirit of God is like. Also Jesus was enlightening Nicodemus, an ignorant teacher of those who think they are the elect of God, the need to experience the love of our Heavenly Father and know the joy of Salvation, having made peace through accepting our forgiveness of sin.
Reality Is Not Something We See But Something That We Feel Just Like The Wind