A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had
everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would
often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very
courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. 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 am the soldier for whom your son
gave his life. 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 for art.

The young man held out his 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 painting 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. 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 over seeing the
great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their

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 Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the
long-time gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the

Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

"We have $10, who will bid $20?"

"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."

"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted. "Now let's get on with the

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."

"What about the paintings?"

"I am sorry. When I was 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 painting of the son would be
auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate,
including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave his son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the
auctioneer, His message today is, "The son, the son, who'll take the

Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

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