Who Will Take the Son?
The story is told about a wealthy businessman who loved to collect art. He and his son had collected together and enjoyed some very important works – Picasso, Rafael, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt.
The son was drafted and sent to Vietnam where he was killed while saving a fellow soldier. A few months later, after some deep grieving by the father, a knock came on the door, and it was a young man with a package in his hand.
He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I’m the soldier that your son carried on his back. He saved my life when he took a bullet right through his heart, and he saved many other men that day, as well. I’m not much of an artist, but I painted this portrait of your son, and I would like to present it to you.”
The man gingerly opened the package, looked at a painting that had really captured the personality of his son, and he began to weep. He offered to pay the young man, who replied, “No, sir, it’s a gift.”
The man hung the picture above his mantle. Every time a guest would come, before he would show him all the famous works of art, he would always take him to the fireplace and show him the picture of his son.
Later the man died, and there was a great auction of all these paintings. Many wealthy people assembled to look at these priceless works. The first painting presented by the auctioneer was the picture of the son. The auctioneer said, “We are going to begin the auction today by selling the picture of the son. Who will take the son? Do I hear a bid? $100? $200?”
A voice came from the back, “We are not interested in that painting. We want to see the great masters!”
The auctioneer responded, “Well, this is the one that we have to sell first. Who will give me $100?”
By now people were beginning to fidget a little bit and become agitated. They cried, “Come on, let’s get on with it!”
The auctioneer said, “No, we must sell this painting first. Who will take the son?”
Finally, a voice from the back came, “Well, I will pay $10 for the son.” It was the man who had been the lifelong gardener for the man’s estate. Ten dollars was all he could afford. The auctioneer said, “$10? Who will give me $20?”
Nobody would go to $20 and the crowd yelled, “Come on, sell him the painting. Let’s get on with the auction!”
Finally, the auctioneer said, “$10 going once, $10 twice, the son…sold for $10,” and he struck his gavel. Then he laid the gavel down and he said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I need to tell you this auction is now over.”
The place broke out in pandemonium and they were shouting, “What do you mean the auction is over?”
“There was a secret stipulation in the instructions that I could not tell you until this time,” the auctioneer explained, “but, I was instructed that whoever would take the son, would inherit the entire estate.”
All of the magnificent paintings went to the gardener because he wanted the son.
Christmas reminds us that, to God, wanting His Son is the most important thing we can ever do. He was born to save and bless us. “Whoever will take the son will inherit the entire estate.”
Pat Morley, Ph.D.
P.S. The Weekly Briefing will be off on Christmas and New Year’s Day, returning Monday, January 8, 2007. Have a wonderful Christmas.