Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again.
I. The wind SOUNDS.
1. Sometimes it wails, and so the Spirit sets men mourning for sin.
2. Sometimes its sound is triumphant, and so the Spirit inspires in us the shout of victory over sin and death.
II. The wind is a great LEVELLER. It aims at things high. If you are down low in the street you escape its fury, but climb the height and you will scarcely stand. Even so the Spirit. He makes every high thought bow before the majesty of His might.
III. The wind PURFIES the atmosphere. In the Swiss valleys there is a heaviness which makes the inhabitants unhealthy. They take quinine and have big swellings in their necks. The air does not circulate; but if there is a great storm it is a great blessing to the people. So the Spirit cleanses out our evil and brings health to the soul.
IV. The wind is a GREAT TRIER OF THE NATURE OF THINGS. It sweeps over heaps of rubbish and scatters the dust, etc., but iron and stone remain unmoved. The Holy Ghost is similarly a testing power, both of men and doctrines.
V. The wind is HELPFUL. In Lincolnshire, where the country is flat and below the sea level, they are obliged to dry the land by means of windmills. In many parts all the corn is ground by means of the wind. The Spirit is also a mighty helper. You are inundated by a flood of iniquity which you can never bale out; or you need some power to prepare your spiritual food, and you will never find better help than that which the Spirit can give.
VI. MAN MUST CO-OPERATE WITH THE WIND, and so Christians with the Spirit.
1. In all spiritual work: as the sailor has to raise his sails.
2. In growth in grace. We are to work out what He works in.
VII. MEN ARE COMPLETELY DEPENDENT ON THE WIND. They are entirely at its mercy as to time, direction, and strength. So we are compelled to wait the pleasure of the Spirit. But just as the sailor anxiously looks up at the mast-head to see how the breeze is shifting, so should we look up to heaven and observe the movement of the Spirit of God.
(J. Caird, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.