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Bible Q

What did Jesus mean in John 3:8 when talking to Nicodemus?

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

I think the point being made here is that you can’t see the wind, you can only see its effect. Similarly, you can’t see any physical change in a person born of the Spirit, but you can see the effect of the Spirit at work in someone. We may not understand how the Spirit works, but the effect of the Spirit in the lives of believers is evidence of God at work.

7 Replies to “What did Jesus mean in John 3:8 when talking to Nicodemus?”

  1. My understanding on this verse of John 3:8, is that it is simply referring to people receiving the Holy Spirit. The Greek translation of this verse reads like this: “The Spirit breathes where He desires and you hear His voice; but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes- so is everyone who has received birth from the Spirit.” (Greek Interlinear Bible)

    The word goes on to say in Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (KJV)
    This was how the new testament church began, by birth of the Holy Spirit. It is the same way today.

    In John 3:3-8, Jesus told us that we must be born again (from above). Whenever God breathes new life into a person (like a child being born), the sign of life accompanies them. Whenever a person is born again, they’ll speak in tongues.

    This gives people the wonderful ability to “worship the Father in Spirit” – John 4:23 and to “pray in the Holy Spirit” – Jude 20.

    Other references of this include Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6, Rom 8:26, 1Cor 14:2 & 14.

    May God bless His word to you.

  2. Jumping in on an old post/thread….

    Note first that I am heterodox in many of my understandings of Scripture.

    And, perhaps not surprisingly, I read John 3:8 as Christ’s ‘endorsement’ of heterodoxy: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    The Spirit, like the wind, may and will blow each of us in different directions – teach us different meanings and give us different understandings of scripture and of God.

    Hence, when “…. people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

    His followers will have different understandings and hence will need to be gathered from the various places the wind has blown them.”

    In other words, if God is truly ineffable, if He truly surpasses our understanding, none of can be certain we have “final” or “correct” understanding of His ways. His glory exceeds our grasp.

  3. John 3:8 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 man that is born of the Spirit.

    What a great Scripture this is, on the Holy Ghost infilling. You can hear the wind and you can feel the wind, but you cannot see the wind. So is every person that is born of the Spirit. (Filled with the Holy Ghost) When filled with the Holy Ghost you cannot see it, but you can feel and hear it.. Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Just like on the day of Pentecost there was sound when they were filled with the Spirit.. “… So is every man that is born of the Spirit” John 3:8 When filled with the Holy Ghost, there will be a sound. This sound is the Voice of God in your life, evidenced by a new tongue and a Holy Language unknown to you. Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. When the Spirit comes in you, He will speak through you. James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. When you repent and surrender your tongue to God, He will control your words… Let God control your life, let Him be number One. 1 Cor. 6:19 what? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? You are made to be a dwelling place for the Holy Gost, so that you may be a witness.. Acts 1:8 You NEED His Spirit to witness and also to be Saved. John 3:5 …Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, He will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. So if this must be done, then it servers purpose that it must be done right. You NEED the Holy Ghost.. ” Have you received since you believed?” Dont know about the Holy Ghost? its okay, neither did this church. Acts 19:2 …We have not so much heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them; the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. This was a group of believers, the “CHURCH” but they knew not of the Holy Ghost, they had to be taught.. They were sincere believers but lacked the Spirit of God. When they received Him, there ministry changed drastically. They were now filled with the saving Power. The Holy Ghost is important, and is evidenced only by Speaking in another tongue, a heavenly language that satan cant understand nor corrupt. Please dont let this oppurtunity pass you by, have an open mind and let God speak to you through this message. YOU are needed in this time to be the most effective witness ever. Without the Holy Ghost, how is this possible? Acts 1:8…But you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, to be my witnesses… “Have you received since you believed?” Dont let this truth pass you by!

  4. Each time you read the bible it gives you a new meaning according to your needs and what the Holy Spirit wants to use you for. There is never one correct meaning, but there is meaning of the moment. You can have a different meaning to a verse from the meaning you got the last time you read it. Thats the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Speaking in toungues is not evidence of the Holy Spirit on everyone. It’s one of the gifts from God (1st Corinthians vs 12). However on Pentecost it was a sign to the Gentiles (1st Corinth 14 vs 22) that the spirit had landed and NOT to say that everyone who shall be filled with the Holy Spirit shall be evidenced by speaking in toungues. If that was so then how about the flames that landed on everyone on Pentecost (Acts 2 vs 3), should we be seeing this on everyone speaking in toungues to determine whether their toungues are real?.
    One can be filled with the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues but still has the Spirit operating in them and you see them by their fruits. Because of mis-interpretation of the verse, many people tend to pretend to speak in toungues copied or memorised from hearing from other people just to suit the flow of the congregation, out of embarrassment that they can’t or so that they fit in and not be outcasted as ones without God in them or not saved. Nobody considers 1 Corinth vs 22 anymore. (Its now like a competition of speaking in toungues where people dont know the reason or why they are doing it). At Pentecost Peter addressed the crowd in Acts charpter 2 ……..vs21: “and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”, he didnt say that everyone who has proof of speaking in toungues will be saved.

    In the Bible after resurrection, there are so many man and women of God who did amazings things filled with the Holy Spirit and being used by it, but without a mention of them ever speaking in toungues.

    In conclusion the Holy spirit stirs people to do different amazing things, nothing too small or too big. Watch the fruits of the Holy Spirit in people, thats the evidence of being filled with the holy Spirit. We should’nt look for tongues or enforce them on anybody, (pressurising them on people until they start memorising what they hear from others) just to beat congregational peer pressure.

    Speaking in tongues is not an essential for one to enter the Kingdom of God, nor is it a necessity.

  5. The Christian goes where he wants, and you can hear the sound of the Christian, but you DO NOT KNOW from what place the Christian comes, and where the Christian goes; this is how you know that the Christian has been born again.
    -John 3:8 (De – Analogized)

    Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded.
    -Romans 3:27

    That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.
    -Ephesians 4:22

    Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
    -Romans 13:14

    As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.
    -James 4:16

    First of the two qualifying attributes that tests that the man is born again.
    You know NOT from what place the Christian comes.
    The blood coating of your silence of the past, is the first layer of the coating to the forgiveness of sins.

    We are not to uncover the sins of another, only if asked by the judge, then only to witness what has been asked.
    Not only the judge of an american court as your mind might percieve, yet of the Christ who dwells in those baptised in his name and sheds light on His choosing.

    Second of the two qualifying attributes that tests that the man is born again.
    You know NOT from what place the Christian goes.
    The blood coating of your silence of YOUR OWN future.

    So then how do people make plans?
    As Christ covers Man. Man covers Woman.

    Prophecy, is the fortelling of an event.

    Example of Man covering with the Christ.
    Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
    James 4:13-15

    Example of a Woman covering with a Man.
    My Husband is taking us to Disney World.

    Example of being uncovered.
    I am going to Disney World.
    Response. I am Jealous.

    … I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…..
    -Exodus 20:5

    Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God (the great I AM) without the covering taught by the Christ, that he died for us to learn?
    -1 Corinthians 11:13 (De – Analogized)


    Every man who asks for something or says what is going to happen; to a woman, who is down the chain of authority defined by God dishonors Jesus.
    -1 Corinthians 11:4 (De – Analogized)

    But every woman who asks for something or says what is going to happen, without using her Husband as an authority covering, dishonors her Husband, the dishonor and embarrasment to the Husband is intense, a glory of the Lord has been stolen from God, and the woman exhaults herself to God’s throne bearing the Glory of the Lord, and then wonders why she Faces Wrath!
    -1 Corinthians 11:5 (De – Analogized)

    For if a woman does not use her Husband as an authority covering, she should have her hair shaved off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair shaved off, then she should use her Husband as an authority covering.
    -1 Corinthians 11:6 (De – Analogized)

    For a man indeed should not use his wife as an authority covering for he is an Image, and is a glory of God, but a woman is a glory of Man.
    -1 Corinthians 11:7 (De – Analogized)

    8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
    -1 Corinthians 11:8-9

    It is for this reason that a woman should cover her own authority, it is because of the ones watching.
    -1 Corinthians 11:10 (De – Analogized)

    11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
    -1 Corinthians 11:11-12 (De – Analogized)

    Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God (the great I AM) without the covering taught by the Christ, who died for us to learn?
    -1 Corinthians 11:13 (De – Analogized)

    Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a Man has long hair which is the glory of the Woman, it is a disgrace to him,
    -1 Corinthians 11:14 (De – Analogized)

    But that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as her glory, and the woman was given to the man to glorify man, and man was made to glorify God.
    -1 Corinthians 11:15 (De – Analogized)

    If anyone wants to be argue about this, tough, we have no other practice nor do the churches of God.
    -1 Corinthians 11:16 (De – Analogized)

  6. In Romans 8:28 God presets a path for those born in the Spirit on how they will be conformed into the mirror image of His Son Jesus. When you are born again your diapers are changed,but since our fresh is never remade,we tend to dirty those diapers…thus we have Holy Spirit as our Helper.

    The Wind here is the Holy Spirit…and He will take(blow) you into the direction that God wants….remember the Holy Spirit will speak for Himself…what He desires is God’s.Your Ultimate direction is to be drawn closer to Christ’s image… be like it…..but in everyday life,that direction wont be easy to tell……you will go in unknown series of twists.

    You will feel and hear the sound of the wind… will hear Him directing you……you may feel direction but cant really tell where exactly it is heading.The Holy Spirit may whisper what it is to come….but wont tell it all. Thus it becomes a relationship of trust……you must trust God all the way. You must trust its God speaking to you and that He wont lead you into a ditch. When you born of the Spirit….you move by faith and not by sight…….you just trust the wind will take you to the right place…mirror image of Christ….True Righteousness…..