Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;…
Last summer the good ship Wieland brought over a large number of caged birds. When we were about mid-ocean one restless bird escaped from his cage. In ecstasy he swept through the air, away and away from his prison. How he bounded with outspread wings! Freedom! How sweet he thought it! Across the pathless waste ha entirely disappeared. But after hours had passed, to our amazement, he appeared again, struggling towards the ship with heavy wing. Panting and breathless, he settled upon the deck. Far, far over the boundless deep, how eagerly, how painfully had he sought the ship again, now no longer a prison, but his dear home. As I watched him nestle down on the deck, I thought of the restless human heart that breaks away from the restraints of religion. With buoyant wing he bounds away from Church the prison, and God the prison. But if he is not lost on the remorseless deep, he comes back again with panting, eager heart, to Church the home, and God the home. The Church is not a prison to any man. It gives the most perfect freedom in all that is good and all that is safe. It gives him liberty to do what is right, and to do what is wrong, there is no rightful place to any man in all the boundless universe.
(R. S. Barrett.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
WEB: Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, "If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples.