PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: ” The Glory of the Son is Shared with those who take Him”.
By: Ron Woodrum
A wealthy art collector shared his passion with his only son. Together they collected rare works of art. They had everything in their collection from original Picasso’s to original Raphael’s! They would often sit together and admire the great works of art together. When the Viet Nam war broke out the son was drafted and sent into conflict. He was killed in battle rescuing another soldier from his battalion, the father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. His paintings soon lost all interest to him. They were only a painful reminder of a life and love shared with his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a know at the door. A young man stood there 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 other lives that day too. He was carrying me to safety when he was struck by a bullet, right in his heart, and he died instantly. When you are in battle you have a lot of time waiting and watching. During times of lull in the battle we often talked about our families back home. He spoke so often about you. And how much you loved art.” The young man held out his package. “I know that this isn’t much. I’m not really a good 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 drawn by his fellow soldier! 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 portrait. “Oh no sir, I could never repay your son for what he did for me! My gift to you…because of your son!”
The father loved the portrait. He framed it and put it over the mantle, in the center of the room, displacing other famous paintings! Every time visitors came to see his rare collections of art, the father spent most of his time directing their attention to the portrait of his beloved son! A few months later the man died. Since he had no immediate family left his art collection was to be auctioned off and proceeds be given to a charity. His collection was so well-known art collectors came from far and wide to bid on each item. The room was filled with famous originals of many great artists. But up by the podium, on an easel, was the portrait of his beloved son. The auctioneer pounded the gavel to get the attention of the crowd and said, “I am instructed to begin the bidding on this picture of the son. Who will bid for this portrait?” There was total silence. No one bid at all. “Who will bid-$100 dollars?” Nothing but silence! Then a voice spoke out-“we want to bid on the famous originals!” “Yea-skip this one!” “Nobody is interested in the portrait of the old man’s son!” “Move on to the others! That is why we came!” The auctioneer persisted. “Who will start the bidding? $100? $75? $50?” Silence. Then…”We want the Van Gogh’s…The Rembrandt’s…The Raphael’s”” Get on with the real bids!” The auctioneer continued on…”The son…. who will take the son…start the bidding on the son!” Finally, a voice came from the back of the room. It was the voice of the longtime gardener of the Old man. He had come to watch the auction, knowing he had no money to bid, but said “I’ll give $10 for the portrait of the son!” “We have $10…who will go $20?” The crowd was getting angry. They didn’t want the son…they wanted the special works of art… those worthy of investment for collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, going twice, sold to the man in the back for $10”. A man on the second road groaned, “Finally, now let’s get on with the collection!” The auctioneer laid down the gavel and said, “I’m sorry…the auction is over! The owner instructed me to auction the portrait of his son first. Whoever took the son inherits all the rest of the collection along with the son! The man who took the son gets everything!”
2,000 years ago, God gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross because He loved you and I. He gave His life to rescue us from eternal destruction of sin. The instruction of His Will…the New Testament states “whoever takes the Son inherits everything!” That is why Paul told the Corinthians “I am determined to know nothing among you but Jesus and Him crucified” (I Cor. 2:2). We are to glory only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! (Gal. 6:14). One of the great Christian scholars of the twentieth century was Frank Gaebelein. He was the major professor at the Stony Brook School on Long Island New York. One of his chief students was the great scholar who battled the Kingdom of the Cults world wide-Walter Martin. But the school was founded by Frank’s father Arno Gaebelein. A.C. Gaebelein was known for his deep commitment and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. He lived and taught to glorify and magnify the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, “We shall one day see His face, and His name shall be on our foreheads. We are sons with Him, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Him. The acquired glory of our Lord is and will forever be the inherited glory of every sinner saved by grace, and we will share that glory with Him!” That is why Paul said, “Whatever you do…do all to the glory of God!” (I Cor. 10:31). That is why J.H. Thornwell said, “If the church could be aroused to a deeper sense of the glory that awaits her, she would enter with a warmer spirit in the struggles that are daily before her!” The great musician Johann Sebastian Bach headed his compositions with J.J. meaning “Jesus Juva-Jesus help me!” He ended them with S.D.G. “Sola Dei Gratia-To God be the Glory alone!” Those of us who know the God of Glory- through the gift of Grace by the Glorious cross of His dear Son…should so magnify the Lord of Grace and Glory.
Dr. J.H. Jowett wrote in his book The Transfigured Church wrote: “We leave our places of worship, and no deep and inexpressible wonder sits upon our faces. We can sing these lilting melodies; and when we get out into the streets, our faces are one with the faces of those who have left the theaters and music halls. Thee is nothing to suggest that we have been looking at anything stupendous and overwhelming. Far back in my boyhood I remember an old saint telling me that after some services he liked to make his way home alone, by quiet by-paths, so that the hush of the Almighty might remain on his awed and prostrate soul. That is the element we are losing!” I might add “that is the element…not that we are losing…but have already lost!” To show His glory…we have first to SEE it and SHARE it!