The queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon, and one day she put him to the test. She brought artificial flowers so perfectly formed that no human eye could detect them from real flowers. She put them in a vase on Solomon’s table, in his throne room next to his flowers. As he came in, the queen of Sheba is reported to have said, “Solomon, you are the wisest man in the world. Tell me without touching these flowers, which are real and which are artificial.”

It is said that Solomon studied the flowers for a long time and spoke nothing, until finally he said, “Open the windows and let the bees come in.”

There are ways to tell the artificial from the real—let the bees come in; they will know where the real is. If we live with the authentic Jesus long enough, we will recognize the artificial when we see it. (Brooks Ramsey, “When Religion Becomes Real”)

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