The story is told about a beggar who had an unusual experience. He frequently sat near the gates of a large estate, owned by the town’s wealthiest man. Every few days, the rich man’s son would give the beggar food or warm clothes. When the son stopped showing up, the beggar learned that he had died.
For many days the beggar grieved, until he thought of a way to commemorate the son’s death. The beggar’s one talent was the ability to sketch. He saved up his coins to buy some art paper and charcoal and sketched a crude but remarkable likeness of the rich man’s son. He asked the gatekeeper of the estate to deliver it to the grieving father.
A year later, the father also died. Many art collectors and investors came to attend the estate sale. The beggar decided to stand on the fringes and see if the wealthy man had valued and saved his sketch.
The auctioneer began by informing the crowd that the estate owner’s will had two stipulations. One was that the charcoal sketch of his deceased son must be auctioned first. The crowd groaned, but the auctioneer shouted, “Who will start the bid on this drawing?” No one responded. “Do I hear one dollar?”
Someone yelled for the auctioneer to get to the valuable art, but the auctioneer persisted. Finally the beggar held up his hand, clutching a dollar bill.
“Going once, going twice…sold to the man for one dollar.”
While the beggar went forward to collect his picture, the auctioneer announced, “This estate sale has now ended.”
When the crowd’s protests died down, he explained the second provision of the rich man’s will: “Whoever gets the son, gets everything else.”
John 1:12 says this about Jesus, the Son of God: “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” When we receive the Son of God by believing, we get everything else God has for those who belong to Him—forgiveness, eternal life, the Holy Spirit, adoption as sons, a reconciled relationship, power over sin through the life of Christ in us, and Heaven after we die, to name a few.
Just as the beggar became the rich man’s heir, so we become heirs of God by adoption as Romans 8:15-17 and Galatians 4:4-7 assure us. When any of us beggars accept the Rich Man’s Son, we receive the right of inheritance to become God's child eternally.