John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus 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.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? …7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ 8 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.” …16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
What is the general theme of the passage?
It’s like Nicodemus and Jesus are having a conversation about two different things. Nicodemus wants Jesus to know he knows the corporate “we” position: “we” recognize your position with God because of the signs you do. It’s an odd conversation because Jesus responds to Nicodemus as if he’s answering a question about the Kingdom of God rather than replying to a statement about faith. Jesus has answered that unasked question to help Nicodemus figure out his “personal” position with God, even if it means going back to square one and learning about love, faith and relationship with God, as if you’re a new born baby.
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?
Jesus answers questions of faith our hearts don’t know enough to ask. Jesus has Kingdom answers for our unasked questions that will remind us that new birth is the reality of our faith and our continued growth.
What does it say about people?
We’re confused about our faith and what to expect from it. Our hearts and minds fool us into depending on what “we” know as the basis of our faith rather than our personal relationship with Jesus.
Is there truth here for me?
Keeping the conversation with Jesus going will answer the Kingdom questions I don’t know enough to ask…yet! I have physical senses that let me feel and hear the wind and I have Spiritual senses [born of the Spirit] so I can understand the difference between a comfortable breeze and a brewing storm in life and in faith — “so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”
Check out this resource on John 3:16. I feel safe in guaranteeing you will never “breeze” through that verse casually again after investing your time in John Piper’s four labs on John 3:16