Residents of southern California have dealt with smog for more than 50 years. When a new kindergarten teacher moved to Los Angeles in 1953, there were no San Gabriel Mountains that Lee Begovich could see according to a 2019 Washington Post article. Choked with low visibility, Begovich referred to conditions in Los Angeles as eye-burning, lung-stinging, and headache-inducing smog. A commission appointed to address smog back in the 1970’s came to the conclusion that their only short term solution was dependent upon mother nature. The hope was that a wind from elsewhere would drive this smog into the Pacific Ocean.
What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above), John 3:6-7.
The passage above dates back to a first century conversion between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus. Afraid of what his peers might think, Nicodemus meets Jesus under the cover of darkness at night. The concept of a Holy Ghost intrigued Nick, wanting to know more on this topic. Whether trying to be sarcastic or simply attempting the break the ice, Nick makes fun of becoming born again. The context above is Jesus’ reply, eluding to a wind from above that has the power to transform your life. Despite being a well educated religious leader, Nick was unable to fathom this concept. Nick’s uncertainty sets the stage for John 3:16-17.
The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered by asking, How can all this be possible? – John 3:8-9
Unless you see a rain cloud unleash water in the distance or witness a tornado defined by it’s debris path, wind is invisible. While you can feel a cold breeze or be blown off your feet by down drafts and wind gusts, the wind is unpredictable. Sure. modern day radar and technology can trace the movements of weather systems, the wind blows where it wills. According the Jesus, the Holy Spirit is just as mysterious. In a letter to the church in Galatia, the Holy Spirit is described as a force that you can stay in tune with, Galatians 5:25. However, if anyone is distracted by fleshly desires, spiritual senses can be lost. Perhaps, this is why Jesus introduces John 3:16 to provide the lost with a glimmer of hope.
by Jay Mankus