One of my favorite childhood stories is “Stone Soup.”
Many cultures have their own versions. If one is not familiar with this story, it depicts the tale of a stranger or a group of strangers who arrive in a village. With no money, they tell the villagers they have a secret recipe to make a delicious soup from a stone they possess and convince the villagers to help them prepare this stone soup. Thanks to the internet, I was recently reintroduced to this story through two clever animated versions. They are presented here with two different conclusions.
Depending upon one’s point of view and the culture that is sharing this folktale, it can be interpreted as a story illustrating how the generosity of a community can come together to help a stranger or strangers in need or it can be a warning to beware of clever charlatans who can dupe the innocent and naive.
It is fascinating that the same story can lead to such polarizing interpretations with just a slight shading of the presentation. It is not only with folktales. Throughout history and even to this present day, critics of the Bible and Christianity may reach similar polarizing interpretations about Jesus Christ.
Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.”
Matthew 12:22-24 (NLT)
Jesus Christ healed a demon-possessed man. Even his enemies and detractors acknowledged it along with the followers of Jesus. Yet to diminish the miracle and impart a different interpretation, His enemies declared that Jesus performed the miracle by the power of Satan and not by God. These were two groups of people witnessing the same event, yet the interpretations could not be more antithetical.
Like the folktale of “Stone Soup”, we will always have competing versions of the truth depending upon who is telling the story. The Bible is written by God, the Holy Spirit, who directed men to record the interactions between God and man. God is the source of Truth and He cannot lie because He cannot contradict Himself.
The folktale of “Stone Soup” may be open to interpretation but God does not leave us this option when we are presented with the claims of His Son, Jesus Christ. He is Lord and Savior; there is no other interpretation or option.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.