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Reflections on John 3:1-10 Part 2


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"Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3)

REFLECTIONS ON JOHN 3:1-10 Part 2


Like Nicodemus, who was a high profile figure, a leader and Pharisee, we, too, can be religious people for many years and go through all the motions, attend meetings, go on pilgrimages, be comfortable in our communities and experience the joy of being together and yet not have that vital encounter with the risen Lord that gives meaning to everything. We can go on like that without ever surrendering to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We can continue living exclusively on an emotional or intellectual level and never enter into the power of the new life and experience the fruit and power of the Kingdom of God. Yet God reveals himself to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us become aware now of the miracle that has happened within and with the Holy Spirit let us now say “yes” to the leading of the Holy Spirit and grow ever stronger in our new Spirit-controlled lives. Let self not contaminate the outflowing of that miracle of life, love and freedom. Let the rivers of living waters flow abundantly from the Holy Spirit of God through us to others that they too might come to know the depth of this magnificent miracle and experience
the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18, 19)
We could spend a life-time meditating only on the words ‘filled with all the fullness of God’. The Holy Spirit will lead us to be full with the fullness of God, can we imagine that? No. But we can experience it deep down in our spirit:
as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him’— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12)
“The wind (Spirit) blows where it (he) chooses and you hear the sound (his voice) of it but you do not know where it (he) comes from or where it (he) goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit”. Often the word for wind has also the meaning of ‘Holy Spirit’. The movements of the Holy Spirit, who once hovered above the waters in Genesis, constantly hovers over people and events and interacts with them just as he did in the household of Cornelius:
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles … Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:44, 48)

The Holy Spirit will never cease to surprise us, he blows where he wills. The Holy Spirit cannot be contained, he eludes our understanding but he is discerned and he leads those who are his: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” (Romans 8:14). The Spirit blows where he wills and shall lead us where he wills, we know not where or how but if we have been begotten by him we trustingly follow and we shall be “full of the fullness of God”. We place our hand and our wounded selves into the scarred hands of the risen Lord and we, full of the strength of the Lord, shall be led to the Father.

Not only do we return to the home of the Father, the kingdom of God, in baptism but we also become the home of the Father, Son and Spirit:

Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The kingdom of God is not only where the King is, it is also where the King rules. We have become God’s home, the kingdom of God is within, it is not in some distant time or place, it is within. Do we not feel reassured? Can we not see that when we surrender our lives to him we surrender our lives to infinite love, peace, joy, freedom?
For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. … If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26)
The Kingdom of God is our Garden of Eden and that vital encounter which Adam and Eve missed out on in Genesis 3:8 is ours every day of our lives:
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze. (Genesis 3:8)

They hid from him, they had shut themselves off from that vital encounter. How often do we hide and miss out? Would we have done better than Adam and Eve? Let us listen with the ear of the spirit to the voice of the Spirit within.

If, on the other hand, you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ and been baptized, what are you waiting for? Be aware that God is asking you as he asked Adam and Eve “where are you?” Are you going to hide or are you going to say “here I am Lord, I am yours”? The choice is yours.

To the eternal God be all glory and honour for ever and ever, amen.

Robert Walsh





Suitable reading:
Divinum Illud Munus, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Holy Spirit, 1897.
Dominum et vivificantem. On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World, 1986.



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