A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. The son and father had everything in their collection, from Monet and Picasso to Raphael and Van Gogh. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When war broke out, the son went to serve. He was an average man, not well known, but he gave his all for the people around him. In this hazardous environment, this young man was killed. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I’m the soldier for whom your son gave his life. Your son saved many lives that day. He often talked about you, and your love of art. The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”
A Surprise Gift
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. The father stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. He was so drawn to the painting that his eyes welled up with tears. The father 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. This is a gift.”
The father hung the portrait over his mantle, taking down the great masterpiece already there. Every time 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.
There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited to see the great paintings and have an opportunity to purchase one for their own collection. On the platform sat 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 picture?” 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 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 van Gogh’s and the Rembrandt’s. 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 way at the back. It was the long-time friend and gardener of the man and his son. “I knew and loved the father and his son. I’ll give what I have for the painting, but it is only $10.00.” Being a poor man, it was all he had.
“We have $10. Who will bid $20?”, said the auctioneer.
“Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters!” cried the crowd.
$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20? The crowd became angrier. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the famous, prestigious paintings for their collections. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “Going once, going twice, SOLD for $10!”
The Son Is Purchased
A man sitting in the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!”
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”
“What?”, the crowd gasped. “What about the masters?” they asked.
“When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told that only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever wanted the son would inherit the entire estate, including the art collection. The man who loves and desires the son gets everything.”
God gave His only Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross, to pay our debt and to give us life eternal. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “My Son, My Son, who will honor My Son?” You see, whoever accepts the Son gets everything.
May your focus on the Reason for the Season make your Christmas Joy last all year long!
To ensure your focus remains on the One whom we worship at Christmas and always, we welcome you to join us in sharing in this Yost Family tradition.
Isa. 53:3-12; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; John 14:6