John 3:1-8 :
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to him by night, and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can’t see the Kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus was an insider with the ones who were coming against both John the Baptist and Jesus. Notice that he came to visit Jesus at night. It appears that he was being secretive. He starts by telling Jesus that He must be from God. Still, Nicodemus came at night. Did He really believe that Jesus was from God?
Jesus answer is a sudden change of subject. He moves right onto teaching a kingdom topic and doesn’t waste any time with small talk. He tells Nicodemus that it is necessary for a person to be born again in order to get into God’s kingdom. What’s interesting is how Nicodemus answers. He immediately questions how being born again could be possible. That hardly seems like an answer to give a “teacher come from God” who created the entire universe. Then Nicodemus offers a strange metaphor by asking if Jesus is suggesting that we go back into the womb. This doesn’t sound like a question from a person who actually believes that Jesus is a “teacher come from God.”
The simple truth is that we need to trust what God says even if we don’t fully understand. Most likely, if we don’t understand something God says, it is because we need to apply simple faith in that which we already profess. The wind is sometimes compared to the Holy Spirit. It is true that God can go wherever He wants and do whatever He wants to do even if we can’t see Him, just like the wind. We don’t know where He comes from and we may not know where He is going, but those who are born again get to hear Him. His words may not come with a complete description of all the details. Often in John we hear Jesus is continually speaking in stories and metaphors. Perhaps this is what was frustrating Nicodemus, still, if Jesus is from God like He said, then His word should be accepted even if we don’t fully understand it.
In this passage, Jesus explains that He is talking about a Spiritual birth, but as we shall see next time, it still isn’t enough for Nicodemus.