Summary: God values even the broken life. The Lord will take us from the ash heap of society to an unlikely place; let’s discover “Your Place at the King’s Table.” (Ends with "Sanctity of Human Life).
UNLIKELY - Your Place at the King’s Table
John 3:7-8 MsgB
“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”
Introduction: UNLIKELY PLACES - This morning we are going to focus on the story of an individual who some today might say he has no quality of life. Due to unexpected tragedy maybe we should just put an end to his suffering. Yet God values even the broken life. The Lord will take us from the ash heap of society to an unlikely place; let’s discover “Your Place at the King’s Table.”
God has a place for the unlikely; the wind of the Spirit will blow us into surprising places to accomplish His purpose in our lives.
The “PNEUMA” quickens us to be “born again” or “born from above.”
Nicodemus found himself surprised by the place God brought him. Nicodemus thought he was good with God. He struggled to understand the God wanted him to be born again. Jesus explained this spiritual rebirth as being of the Spirit - the wind or breath of God.
Nicodemus was surprised, and yet he knew some things that we don’t. Jesus is trying to help Nicodemus understand God’s creative work in the life of an individual - a work done by God, but specifically by the Spirit or Spirit of God:
The Greek word PNEUMA is translated as both WIND and SPIRIT.
Nicodemus understood this word play because it works the same way with the Hebrew word RAUCH. Rauch likewise is translated as both wind, breath and spirit. Here is what Nicodemus understood:
The wind follows a prescribed path - we don’t know the path the wind follows, but the wind does not deviate from the path determined for it to follow. The wind blows bringing the changing seasons; it accomplishes its purpose along it’s prescribed path.
The prescribed path of the wind likewise illustrates the idea behind rauch also meaning BREATH. Every breath we take follows the path of being inhaled and exhaled. Our breath follows this path without deviation and without our conscious thought; breath moves in and out according to the prescribed path giving us life.
Similarly, the spirit is the breath of a person following the prescribed path or purpose to breathe out the life and creativity within the individual. In the same way the wind is invisible but brings the changing of the seasons, so too the invisible spirit within an individual accomplishes the desires or purposes within the person. Therefore, the Holy Spirit breaths into our lives to fulfill God’s creative purpose in our lives.
Jesus wanted Nicodemus to remember the creative power of God’s Spirit.
Genesis 1:1-2 NIV
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Job 33:4 NIV
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Nicodemus recognized the “pneuma” (wind/spirit) as the Spirit of God because God and the Spirit, are an unbreakable unity. They are ONE.
Therefore, when Jesus tells Nicodemus no one enters the kingdom of God unless they have been born of the Spirit - the rauch or pneuma - Nicodemus rightly understands the Spirit to be the Spirit of God.
Notice how Jesus connects the Spirit of God and kingdom of God in
Matthew 12:26 NIV
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
The Spirit of God or Pneuma brings us into the kingdom of God. Just as the winds continue to blow day after day following the prescribed path God has determined for it, the Spirit will come again and again into our lives- sometimes as a gentle breeze and at other times like a gusting hurricane to accomplish God’s creative purpose.
Will we yield to the Holy Spirit, or will we push back against the wind to resist the Lord?
God’s Spirit has brought us to an unlikely place: because we have been born from above so that the Spirit has brought us into the kingdom of God, you and I also have an invitation to sit at the King’s table.
An unlikely and perhaps unfamiliar bible story illustrates not only the place God wants to bring each of us, but also how the Lord wants to use each of us to bring others to the King’s table. Turn to 2 Samuel 9.