Many years ago in Great Britain, the wife of a wealthy man
died and left him with a child, their only son. This man loved to collect rare works of
art, possessing all the grand masters in his collection, from Picasso
to Van Gogh. When Hitler invaded England, the
son went off to war and within a year, the father was notified
that his son, who he loved dearly, died courageously in battle. A
few months later, just
before Christmas while the old man was still deeply grieving, there was a knock at the door. When
he answered, there stood a young man on the porch with a large package in his hands.
He said, “Sir, you don't know me, but I served with your son in the war and
we became great friends. He even gave his life for
mine. He actually saved many lives that day, and he
was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the
heart and he died instantly.”
The young man then held out his package, saying “He often
talked about you, and your love for art. I'm not much
of an artist, but I wanted to do something, and I think your
son would have wanted you to have this.”
The father opened the package and discovered that it was a portrait of his son,
painted by the young man. Even though the painting was
not technically great, he nevertheless stared in awe at the way the
soldier had captured the personality of his son. The
father was so drawn to the portrait
that his own eyes welled up with tears. When he
regained his composure, he thanked the young
man and offered to pay him for the picture.
“Oh, no sir, I could never begin to repay what your son did
for me. It's a gift.”
The father hung the portrait over his mantle, taking down
the expensive painting that previously hung there.
visitors came to his home he always took them to see the portrait
of his son before showing them any of the other great works
in his collection.
The man died a few months later and a great auction of his paintings
was scheduled. Many influential people from all over
Europe gathered, along with some who flew over form
excited over the
opportunity to purchase one of the great paintings for their collection.
The auction began with the first painting brought and
displayed on the platform - the painting of the son.
The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding
with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this
There was silence. The auctioneer again asked “OK,
who'll make the first bid for this painting?” After a
few more moments of silence, a voice shouted, “'We
want to see the famous paintings. Why don't you skip
But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for
this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”
Another voice shouted angrily. “We didn't come to see
this painting. We came to see the Rembrandts, the Michelangelos.
Get on with the good stuff!”
But still the auctioneer continued. “'Will someone please
bid on this painting. Come on now. Who'll take
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room.
The longtime gardener of the father had just stepped into
the room and said “I'll give $10 for the painting.”
Being a poor man, it was all he could afford, but he loved
the father and son dearly.
The auctioneer said “We have $10, who will bid $20?”
Another voice shouted “Give it to him for $10. Let's
see the masters.”
“The bid is $10, won't someone please bid $20?”, the
At this point, the crowd was becoming increasingly hostile. They didn't want the picture
of the son.
They wanted only the worthy investments for their
The auctioneer signed, then pounded the gavel. “Going
once, twice, SOLD for $10 to the gentlemen in the back.”
A person from the crowd then shouted, “Well, it's about
time. Now let's get on with the valuable collection!”
The auctioneer; however, laid down his gavel and
announced, “I'm sorry, the auction is over.”
The crowd shouted “Wait a minute. What about the other
paintings? What about the Raphaels? What about
The auctioneer replied, “It was a stipulation in the will. Only the
painting of the son would be auctioned, and whoever bought that
painting would inherit the entire estate, including the
paintings. In other words, it is the father's will that
whoever takes the son would get everything, and those that
do not take the son would get nothing!”
God sent his Son to die in our place. Much like the auctioneer,
God is pleading with us “Who'll take the son”. Because, you see, whoever
takes the Son will co-inherit the kingdom with Him (Rom
8:16,17 and 1Peter 1:3-5), but whoever rejects the Son will suffer eternal
damnation (Rev 20:15).
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to
condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does
not believe stands condemned already because he has not
believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (Jn
Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony
in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him
out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony
God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God
has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He
who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of
God does not have life. (1 Jn 5:10-12)
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