October 16, 2023 – Monday
John 3:8 NKJV
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:8 NET
8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
I initially included this verse with verses 5-7 last Friday, but deleted it as I wanted to look at it in depth. It immediately follows verses 5-7 and is the concluding statement from Jesus before Nicodemus answers (tomorrow) and it went like this NKJV, 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The first thing we need to be aware of that the Greek word pneumatos may be translated as ‘wind’ or as ‘spirit.’ If you go hereyou will find the Common English Bible (CEB) begins with God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes, the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) begins with The Spirit breatheth where he will, and Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) begins with the Spirit where he willeth doth blow among a few others. And if you go here you will find a few more such as the Aramaic Bible in Plain English and the Literal Standard Version that do the same.
Why all this attention to this one word that may be translated wind or spirit/Spirit? Because we are discussing a spiritual birth or rebirth via this word. Ellicott’s Commentary believes the verse should begin as, The Spirit breatheth where He willeth, and thou hearest His voice. Why? Because These words are an explanation of the spiritual birth, the necessity of which has been asserted in the previous verses. They must have come to Nicodemus, bringing in their sound echoes of the old familiar words, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2;7).
However, MacLaren’s Expositions sees this verse as a condensed parable and provides an interesting setting for the verse and discussion, namely, Perhaps a gust of night wind swept round the chamber where Nicodemus sat listening to Jesus, and gave occasion for this condensed parable. But there is occasion sufficient for it in the word ‘Spirit,’ which, both in the language in which our Lord addressed the ruler of the Sanhedrim, and in that which John employed in recording the conversation, as in our own English, means both ‘spirit’ and ‘breath.’
Going still further, we all know people who have been reborn with the Spirit of God, and we know the changes of being reborn in our own lives. We observe the changes in others, we experience them in our very own lives and know the truth of it. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible concurs as he concludes with this, 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. Again, we see the impact or how it affects others, and we know the impact on our own individual lives. Like the wind we cannot see the Spirit, but like the wind we can see that it does exist and affects lives. That is undeniable. And Jesus wants Nicodemus to understand and see that as well.
Bottom Line: What we believe is real and we know that from our own experiences with the changes in our own lives. This is undeniable.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You that Your Son would make such an effort to ensure we would understand the blessing of being reborn in the faith. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor (Still writing and working for the Glory of God)