Whoever Takes the Son...
As we read today’s portion of Luke, almost immediately we encounter a question of supreme importance. Actually, it’s a question that everyone who has ever lived will, at one time or another, have to come to terms with. Have a look at verse 19 and hear mankind's pivotal question.
Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else? Luke 7:19b
In essence, Jesus, are You the One we need… are You the Key to this unidentified longing… are You the Savior of our souls? There is no greater question to be asked. And Father God has gone to great lengths to make perfectly clear the answer.
There’s a story of a wealthy man and his son who loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together to discuss and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam 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. And there stood a young man 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 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. 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. Not long after, the father too died. 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 collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with the portrait of the son. Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence. A nervous energy filled the room as a voice from the crowd shouted, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandt's. Get on with the real bids!" But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily, but still the auctioneer continued. Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was a poor man, the longtime gardener of the father and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting," he said.
After allowing ample opportunity for other bids, the auctioneer finally shouted, "Sold! For $10." A heavy sigh of relief could be felt as the bidders geared up for the important pieces to be presented. However, what was said next, none of them expected to hear.
The auctioneer laid down his gavel and said, "The auction is now over." Completely baffled, the audience began to murmur, "What about the paintings? What about Picasso, Monet, Di Vinci?" The auctioneer only smiled and said, "I'm 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 now. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the valuable masterpieces. Whoever takes the son… gets everything!"
And so, to answer mankind's vitally crucial question, Jesus, God's Son, is the Savior of the world. And whoever takes the Son... gets everything.