But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and “A stone that causes men to stumble.” (1 Pet. 2:7–8)

MARK TWAIN’S NOVEL The Prince and the Pauper, a favorite for more than 130 years, tells the story of two boys born into very different circumstances. Tom Canty came from squalid poverty while Edward Tudor was born into the royal family, the future king of England. Through a twist of fate, the two boys exchanged places. The young pauper, upon the death of the king days later, was thrust onto the throne, while Edward VI, the rightful heir, found himself in abject poverty, living among the rougher elements of society.

Young Edward experienced all the privations of poverty. He felt cold, weariness, and hunger. He was set upon by dogs, beaten, bruised, and bloodied. Clothed in rags, his claims of royalty was met with mockery and abuse. He didn’t look like a king, nor did anyone expect to encounter one in such places. Imagine, then, the shock and fear of his rejecters after he was restored to his throne!

Jesus didn’t look like a king or match anyone’s idea of God either. The religious elite rebelled at His teachings. They rejected, mocked, and finally crucified their Creator and King. Jesus was the stone upon which they stumbled. He continues to be that for those offended by the truth. But to those who believe, He is precious, our Cornerstone, and the Rock of our salvation.

Decide today to accept Jesus.

Neil Bowers lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and children. He is a state correctional officer and enjoys children’s ministry, poetry writing, and wood carving.