A rich man, find of art, had in his collection of masterpieces some works of all the greatest Renaissance, classic and modern artists from all schools and trends. Many times he stood with his only son admiring the wonderful masterpieces from their collection. But the war burst and his son was enrolled and sent to fight. He proved a great courage abd died at his duty while saving the life of a comrade. When the father received the news, he was deeply affected by the loss of his only son.
One month later he heard knocks at the door. There was a young man on the threshold with a big package in his arms. He said:
`Sir, you don`t know me. I am the soldier for whom your son sacrificied his life. On that day he saved many lives of the wounded ones but whole trying to take me to a safe place a bullet pierced his heart and he died on the spot. He spoke many times about you and the passion you have for art.
The young man gave him the package.
`I know it is almost nothing. I am not a known painter but I am sure your son would have like you to have this painting.
The father began to unwrap the package. It was a portrait of his son painted by that young man. Looking carefully he was amazed by the way the young painter was able to catch his face and personality. The father sighed and with his eyes in tears thanked the young man offering him a sum of money for the painting.
`Oh, it is not possible, sir. I won`t be able my entire life to repay what your son had done for me. This is just a present.`
The father put the painting on one of his picture rails. Every time he had visitors he began by showing them the portrait of his son and only after that he allowed them to see the great masterpieces of his collection
After the death of the old father it was organized a bid for his big collection of paintings. Many persons gathered who wanted to see and especially to purchase paintings for their own collections.
At the opening on the stage it was displayed the portrait of the son. The person who had to lead the bid opened the session hitting with the gavel:
`We start the bid with this portrait of the son. Who opens the bid?`
In the room it was silence. Then from the back of the room someone shouted:
`We came to see masterpieces. Skip this painting.`
But the auctioneer continued:
`Foes anyone make an offer for this portrait?` 100? 200?
Someone from the room shouted irritated:
`We didn`t come for this portrait! We gathered for the paintings of Rembrandt, Fragonard, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso and the other masters. Come on, let`s go to the real bid!`
The auctioneer continued untroubled:
`The son, the son…Does anyone want the son?
IN the end from a remote corner of the room a shy voice was heard:
`I give 30 for this portrait.`
It was the man who many years ago had been the gardener of the father and his son. Being a poor man he could not offer more.
`There is an offer of 30. Who offers more? Does anyone offer 40?`
The room was in turmoil.
Give it to him for 30. Let`s go to masters. To masters!`
They didn`t want the son. All of them wanted to take advantage of the occasion and purchase great masterpieces for their collections.
The auctioneer firmly continued:
`30 going…30 going…`
And hitting with his gavel on the desk :
`Gone.` Sold for 30!`
Someone from the front rows burst:
`Finally we can go to the great masterpieces.`
Calm, the auctioneer put the gavel on the desk saying:
`I am sorry the bid is over.`
In the room there was uproar.
`What about the paintings? What happens with the masters? With the collection?`
`I am sorry the auctioneer said. When I was appointed to lead this bid I was told about a secret stipulation from the will which I was not allowed to reveal until the end: the bid is only about the portrait of the son.
Who takes this, inherits the whole fortune which includes the entire collection of art masterpieces. The man who receives the son gets everything!`
God the Father sent 2000 years ago His Son to die on the Cross. Like the message of the auctioneer His message is:
`The Son, the Son, who receives the Son?`
You see who receives the Son gets everything!
` For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.` (Gospel after John 3, 16)
This is the real love…