It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring. Well, he’d like to be snoring but he has a blog to write. It’s one of those strange days today, sunshine, rain, hail, wind, calm, like four seasons rolled into one. There is perhaps nothing more unpredictable than the weather even though we spend billions trying to understand it.
Jesus sometimes referred to the weather, even castigating those who claimed to understand it. One of his most famous conversations was with a man called Nicodemus, I’ve written about him before. During the conversation Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (1) It’s true isn’t it? The wind appears to come and go as it pleases. Have you ever been out walking and suddenly found yourself almost knocked over by a strong gust of wind, and you wonder, “Where did that come from?”
Jesus uses the wind to help us understand the way God’s Spirit works. To become a follower of Jesus, a Christian, it requires a second birth, you have to be born again. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who lived his life following laws and human regulations, believing that in so doing he would earn eternal life. Jesus didn’t even allow him to go down that route of justifying his actions when they met. He immediately jumped in and said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (2)
The wind comes and goes as it pleases and we have no control over it. So too with God’s Spirit. In his time, and his way, he will confront you with the reality of your situation. He will show you your sinfulness and reveal to you that you need a Saviour, Jesus who died on a cross for you. He’ll make it clear to you that you need to be born again. One thing he won’t do is force you to believe. He will let you make a decision, but bear in mind that if you are not born again you cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jesus also spoke about the weather on another occasion. Speaking to a group of Pharisees he said, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (3) Back then, 2000 years ago, they were saying almost the same as we say today. Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in morning, shepherd’s warning.
Unfortunately they didn’t know how to interpret the times. Standing before them was the Son of God, the long awaited Messiah, and they didn’t recognise him. They didn’t understand that something amazing was happening. As Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a changing”, and they missed it. Instead of loving Jesus they hated him. Instead of worshipping Jesus they crucified him.
We are in strange times now. The whole world is changing. The times they are a changin. Is something happening beyond the coronavirus crisis? Is God doing something that we’re missing? I have come to believe that God is speaking to us through the crisis, more than that, shouting at us, “You must be born again”. It could be right now that you are having an encounter with God’s Spirit. Like the wind, he may be blowing on you to make you aware of his presence, shouting to you, telling you that you need to be saved. You need a Saviour. If you want to see the kingdom of God, don’t ignore God’s Spirit. Listen to him and be born again.
- John 3:8
- John 3:3
- Matthew 16:2,3