It would be one of many unusual, unsettling, even unnerving experiences they would have with Jesus. Today, they would have to navigate the uncomfortable social situation of entering a potentially hostile environment.
In Genesis chapter 1, God’s word divided the light from the darkness. So now, Jesus, the Word and the Light, came into the world and divided those who love the Light from those who embrace the darkness.
The Lord sees the evil that mars God’s creation and destroys the people God loves, and the Lord intends to get rid of it. God’s wrath consumes evil and wickedness not as the opposite of God’s love, but as the expression of God’s love.
Jesus depicted himself in the bronze serpent Moses had lifted up to save people from the poisonous serpents that had overrun their camp.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, thus must the Son of Humanity be lifted up, in order that all who believe in him will have life eternal.
Jesus explained that like the wind the Holy Spirit is invisible but powerful, and you can’t predict, explain or control the movements of the wind.
There was no easy interpretation of Jesus’ mysterious and startling comment. I imagine Jesus watching Nicodemus expectantly, for the Pharisee had already proven himself capable of great spiritual discernment.