There is a story about a old village in Spain. The people heard the king planned to visit there. No king had ever done that. They became excited and wanted to offer a great celebration that would show their adoration and that would honor the king. But what could a village of such poor people offer?
Someone proposed that since so many of the villagers made their own wines – very good wines – they could offer that to please the king.
On the day of the king’s arrival, they all came to the village square early in the morning with a large cup of their finest wine and poured their offering into a small opening at the top of a large barrel. They were excited to see the king enjoy the best wine he’d ever tasted.
When he arrived, the king was escorted to square where he was ceremoniously presented with a silver cup and invited to draw wine from the barrel. He was told the villagers were delighted to have him taste the best they had to offer.
He filled his cup from the spigot. And when he drank the wine, he tasted only water.
Had some miracle-worker turned wine to water? No. Each villager had reasoned, "I’ll withhold my best wine and give water. There will be so many cups of excellent wine poured into the barrel that the difference won’t even be noticeable.”
And their king was greatly dishonored by their phony expressions of adoration.