And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name; and we forbade him, because he follows not with us.…
"Seeing a tree grow somewhat irregular in a very neat orchard," says Mr. Flavel, "I told the owner it was a pity that that tree should stand there, and that if it were mine I would root it up, and thereby reduce the orchard to an exact uniformity. He replied, that he rather regarded the fruit than the form, and that this slight inconvenience was abundantly preponderated by a more considerable advantage. 'This tree, which you would root up, hath yielded me more fruit than many of those trees which have nothing else to recommend them but their regular situation.' I could not," adds Mr. Flavel, "but yield to the reason of this answer, and could wish it had been spoken so loud that all our conformity men had heard it, who would not stick to root up many hundreds of the best learners in the Lord's orchard because they stand not in exact order with other more conformable but less beneficial trees, who destroy the fruit to preserve the form." Such, alas, is the prejudice of our minds, that we are too prone to condemn those who do not view things exactly as we do. We lay down plans and rules for ourselves, and then blame others if they do not follow them. Too often also are we mistaken in our opinions of others, and imagine that they are only cumberers of the ground, when probably they bring forth the fruits of righteousness in greater abundance than ourselves.
Parallel VersesKJV: And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.