Take My Son
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything, from Picasso to Raphael, in their collection. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam war began, the son went off to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. When the father was notified, he grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. When the father answered, a young man stood with a large package in his hands.
In a gentle voice he said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier your son gave his life for. He saved many lives that day and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you and your love of art." The young man held out the package, "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist. But I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. he thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.
"Oh, no sir. I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Everytime visitors came to his home, he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. An auction was being held for all the great work he had collected. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the masterpiece paintings and having the opportunity to purchase one for their own collection.
On the platform, the first piece to be auctioned, sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel, "We will start the bidding with this portrait of the son. Who will bid for this portrait?"
There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted, "Will somebody bid for this portrait? Who will start the bidding? One hundred dollars? Two hundred dollars? Who will start bidding?"
Another voice angrily shouted, "We didn't come to see this portrait! We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandt's! The good paintings! Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued, "The son? The son? Who will take the son?"
Finally a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long time gardener of the man and his son. "I will give ten dollars for the portrait." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
"We have ten dollars. Who will bid twenty? Will anybody else bid twenty?" said the auctioneer.
"Give it to him for ten dollars," someone spoke up. "Let's see the masterpieces!"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the portrait of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collection.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel, "Going for ten dollars... is there anybody who will bid more than ten dollars for the son?" After a short pause, he continued," Going once... going twice.... SOLD! For ten dollars!" He then pounded his gavel to signal the closing of the bid.
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Good! Now let's get on with the real collection!"
The auctioneer laid the gavel on the podium, then said, "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What? What about the paintings? The masterpieces?" asked the confused crowd.
"I am sorry. When I called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the portrait of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that portrait would inherit the entire estate, including the masterpiece paintings."
He then looked and pointed toward the gardener, "The man who took the son gets everything."
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is.... "The son? The son? Who will take the son?"
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Everybody... now THAT'S LOVE!!!
Heavenly Father, I accept Your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ, into my heart. I know He died on the Cross for me so that I may have eternal life. I know that it was by His blood my sins have been forgiven. Amen.