New American Standard Bible
"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
King James Bible
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Darby Bible Translation
The wind blows where it will, and thou hearest its voice, but knowest not whence it comes and where it goes: thus is every one that is born of the Spirit.
World English Bible
The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Young's Literal Translation
the Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit.'
John 3:8 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The wind bloweth ... - Nicodemus had objected to the doctrine because he did not understand how it could be. Jesus shows him that he ought not to reject it on that account, for he constantly believed things quite as difficult. It might appear incomprehensible, but it was to be judged of by its effects. As in this case of the wind, the effects were seen, the sound was heard, important changes were produced by it, trees and clouds were moved, yet the wind is not seen, nor do we know whence it comes, nor by what laws it is governed; so it is with the operations of the Spirit. We see the changes produced. Men just now sinful become holy; the thoughtless become serious; the licentious become pure; the vicious, moral; the moral, religious; the prayerless, prayerful; the rebellious and obstinate, meek, and mild, and gentle. When we see such changes, we ought no more to doubt that they are produced by some cause - by some mighty agent, than when we see the trees moved, or the waters of the ocean piled on heaps, or feet the cooling effects of a summer's breeze. In those cases we attribute it to the "wind," though we see it not, and though we do not understand its operations. We may learn, hence:
1. that the proper evidence of conversion is the effect on the life.
2. that we are not too curiously to search for the cause or manner of the change.
3. that God has power over the most hardened sinner to change him, as he has power over the loftiest oak, to bring it down by a sweeping blast.
4. that there may be great variety in the modes of the operation of the Spirit. As the "wind" sometimes sweeps with a tempest, and prostrates all before it, and sometimes breathes upon us in a mild evening zephyr, so it is with the operations of the Spirit. The sinner sometimes trembles and is prostrate before the truth, and sometimes is sweetly and gently drawn to the cross of Jesus.
Where it listeth - Where it "wills" or "pleases."
So is every one ... - Everyone that is born of the Spirit is, in some respects, like the effects of the wind. You see it not, you cannot discern its laws, but you see its effects," and you know therefore that it does exist and operate. Nicodemus' objection was, that he could not "see" this change, or perceive "how" it could be. Jesus tells him that he should not reject a doctrine merely because he could not understand it. Neither could the "wind" be seen, but its effects were well known, and no one doubted the existence or the power of the agent. Compare Ecclesiastes 11:5.
LibraryFebruary 28 Morning
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.--JOHN 3:16. God . . . hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
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He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.
Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns.
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life."'"
"Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?"
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