sexta-feira, 23 de janeiro de 2015

BORN OF THE WIND


The wind blows wherever it pleases.
You hear its sound,
but you cannot tell where
it comes from or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

John 3:8 (read 3:1-17 below) - NIV

 

Nicodemus unknowingly was tied up to and bound by tradition. He was a religious leader and very well educated within the concepts of his sect. He certainly was zealous and sincere. He had roots but no wings. He wanted to fly. Some force propelled him to seek Jesus, and Jesus, in his sensitivity and spiritual insight, understood the concern of Nicodemus and went straight to the point: Nicodemus was told the he must get out of the womb.

Surprised and amazed, Nicodemus said, “How? I was born once! How can I be born again?”

Jesus explained that there are many ways to be born. In addition to physical birth from a mother's womb, one can be born of the Wind* (Spirit) of God. The wind is free to blow wherever it wills. It is mysterious: it can be felt and heard, but we do not know from where it comes or to where it goes. By being born of the Wind, we can fly to unimaginable places!

In other words Jesus was saying “Nicodemus, you have you left your mother’s womb of in order to be able to grow up and become an adult, but you are stuck in another womb, the law of your religion. To become a child of God, you need to break the limits that that womb imposes on you and be born of the Wind (Spirit) of God.”

The uterus is essential for our life. Without the female body none of us would be here today. No one is born without a mother. Although essential, the uterus is not a place of permanent residence, we must get out of it in order to continue to live and grow. Physical birth is the process of being expelled from the body of the mother and cutting the umbilical cord. The same can be said of churches. They can serve as "wombs" for the formation of our faith, but we must go beyond them in order to have spiritual maturity. They should give us a start, but we must not become dependent of them. Possessive mothers spoil their children. Possessive churches generate spoiled, submissive and dependent believers. By being born of the Spirit, Nicodemus could overcome the limitations of his spiritual womb.

No religious system has the whole truth and is able serve humanity in all dimensions. Within our closed institutional systems the movement of the Spirit is very limited, and the most we can do is create artificial breezes with our human made fans.

The real wind blows outdoors and cannot be confined. Its nature is to be free. To be born of the Spirit is to be free to overcome barriers, cross national borders, climb mountains, span oceans and sweep through the whole Earth. Those who are born of the Spirit can fly on the wings of the wind and make their presence felt around the Earth. They are not confined within a closed system of dogmas and laws.

Jesus invited Nicodemus to break the barriers of his spiritual womb and accompany him on a new venture of faith. This call is universal and perennial. We are also invited to be born of the Divine Wind and be messengers of God's love to all on Earth.

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*In the Greek text, wind and spirit are the same word.

 

John 3:1-17 – New International Version (NIV)

JESUS TEACHES NICODEMUS

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

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