Who’ll Take the Son

Who’ll Take the Son

A wealthy man and his only son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and discuss the wonderful art and what the Son should do with the great collection and wealth when he inherited it himself.

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. 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 how much you loved him, and he you.

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.

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

But still the auctioneer continued. “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the son’s former nanny of many years. She had loved the son dearly, and had come to the auction hoping to find a memento of the young man she had cared for for nearly fifteen years. “I’ll give $10 for the painting of the son,” she said timidly. Being a poor woman, it was all she had.

“We have $10, who will bid $20?”

“Give it to her for $10. Let’s see the masters!” they cried.

“$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?”

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the amateurish 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 get on with the collection!”

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 person who loved his 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 son?” Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

Author Unknown

This story has gone around the Internet since 1999. It apparently has its first origins in a short story from 1945 with a similar theme but different story. I have changed it a little to be the nanny who loved the son who inherits everything, rather than the gardener. The author is unknown.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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7 Responses to Who’ll Take the Son

  1. darrell brashear says:

    Dear Brother John
    Some weeks ago I was reading about a topic you wrote on the subject of praying in the name of Christ. You had written something to the effect that our Father in heaven is likened unto a King whom we have no direct access to, but His Beloved Son being the heir can petition Him in our behalf. We do not have a direct access to the Father just as a commoner couldn’t expect a direct audience with the king, but the king’s son can go to him and plead our cause before him.

    When I first read this, it bothered me. I pondered on it again and again. The thought kept coming to my mind….”I’m not just some commoner, I’m a son of the King as well”. I decided to pray about it and had a wonderful experience as a result. As I was praying, the voice of Christ came into my mind and I could feel it in my heart. He spoke in the first person as though He were the Father (which I know He can do since He fully represents the Father).

    He said something to this effect: “My son, I do love hearing from you and your thoughts and feelings are very important to me. It is because I love you so much that your prayers do not find direct access to me without going through my Son. Because of the impurity of your language and the estrangement that you are under in your lost and fallen state, your prayers alone cannot reach me in full purity and power without my placing Intercessors in your behalf.”

    He then brought to mind times when I was praying and my feelings and thoughts were much deeper and grander than my abililty to express in my mortal language. I had even felt frustrated because I couldn’t express in words the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. I remembered times when I would say, “Heavenly Father, I wish I could express the thoughts and feelings of my heart, but I don’t have the words”. He then brought to my mind a scripture in Romans which reads….”Likewise the Spirit [the Holy Ghost] also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [itself maketh intercession for us] with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    And he [Christ] that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he [Christ] maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God”. (Romans 8:26-27). It was then explained to me that we have two Intercessors in our prayers, The Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ. When our desires are aligned with Christ’s desires for us and we pray according to those desires then the Holy Ghost acts as an Intercessor in that He presents those thoughts and desires to Christ in thier pure form, in a form that far surpasses our ability to express.

    Christ then takes our desires in thier pure and undiluted form and combines His desires to them, then He presents them both together to the Father. It was made known to me that when we pray in the name of Christ that by the time our prayers reach the Father they are more glorious than we could possibly imagine! It is because of His great love for us that our prayers do not find direct access to Him without first being filtered and enhanced by the Holy Ghost and Christ.

    This knowledge is very beautiful to me and I wanted to share it with you.
    Brother Darrell B.


  2. Pearl says:

    Thank you for this. I had never seen this before.

    I think in my retelling of it, I’ll use the gardener, though. Just being a mom, the “nanny” makes me think the parents were not around to do the parenting and it seems to conflict with the love of the father.


    • John Pontius says:

      In the older version the mother had died years ago – hence the nanny. I almost wrote that into the story, but decided it was sad and didn’t really matter to the ending.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment. I thought the story was charming and a little startling.



  3. JaredJared says:

    Brother John,

    I want you to know that your un-blog posts are making a powerful impact on my life. Your insights and messages are doing so much to clear my vision and motivate me to do all that is required of me to become changed from my fallen nature to becoming “a new creature in Christ.”

    My love for my Savior increases daily. I can hardly think of him, and his love for me, and the possibility of being with him without weeping.

    Last Friday an elderly family friend in our ward passed away in the night in his sleep. He had spent the previous day in the temple ministering to the spiritual needs of others as an ordinance worker. He was a great spiritual leader and missionary in this area. He had turned so many lives around and helped so many brothers and sisters become stronger in the faith.

    When I heard he had passed away and as I pondered this for the next few minutes, I received a powerful witness that he was indeed in the presence of his Savior, Jesus Christ, and that his joy was indeed full. Such a beautiful and joyful emotion overcame me. I became even more aware of how much I desire this great blessing for myself and my loved ones.

    I am starting to realize what it means, and what is required, in order to truly choose “the Son” and to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my strength!

    Thank-you for your powerful contributions in all of this!

    Brother Jared


  4. ken h says:

    This is a powerful story.Truly, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I am reminded of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Desiring the portrait of the Son is like having received His image in our countenance. To know Him is to love Him and to love Him is to know Him. Thnak you John.


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