Jn.3:7,8 – You shouldn’t be amazed by my statement, ‘You must be born from above!’ For the Spirit-wind blows as it chooses. You can hear its sound, but you don’t know where it came from or where it’s going. So it is within the hearts of those who are Spirit-born!
Nicodemus was more comfortable with absolutes; you live a certain way and certain things will happen. You could say he was ingrained in being dependent on his own ability to follow the Lord and obey the law. That’s really how it is with all religions, there is a code of ethics and religious observations. Those who follow them get the rewards. Jesus was talking about something totally different and apparently quite foreign to Nicodemus. Jesus was bringing him face to face with his need for salvation. He was also confronting Nicodemus with the idea that only the Spirit of God could change him and allow him to live a life pleasing to God. This was quite frankly totally humiliating for this esteemed teacher.
Jesus was introducing Nicodemus to the Holy Spirit. He told him the Spirit is like the wind. It is powerful, unpredictable, and quite mysterious. The terminology Jesus was using caused Nicodemus to think about the wind, the Spirit of God, and the Breath of God. Nicodemus was being swept into a move of the Spirit of God. This would be the major difference between the old and new covenant. Here are some thoughts from the Passion Notes on this passage.
“The Spirit moves you as he chooses, and you hear his voice, but you don’t know where he came from or where he goes.” The Aramaic is so rich and multilayered in this passage. Perhaps it could be paraphrased as, “The wind, the breath, and the Spirit are moved by mysterious moods and in their own wonderful ways. When you feel their touch and hear their voices you know they are real, but you don’t understand how they flow and move over the earth. In this same mysterious way so is the way of everyone who is born by wind, breath, and Spirit.”
We also need the wind of God to transform our lives. The Wind, His Breath, and His Holy Spirit affect our lives dramatically. He transforms us with the new birth, He empowers us with His rushing mighty Wind, and brings us into incredible intimacy by His breath. The mysterious Spirit Wind is the very source of our lives.