It was the biggest party the servants had ever seen.
Neighbors were asked to come at once. Ranch hands and cooks were hard at it to prepare for everyone from the servant’s child to the valley barons. The Master’s wayward son had come home, broken and humbled, an answer to the Master’s prayers. The house pulses with new energy. The servants are singing. The Master is beaming. But something is out of place; something is not quite right.
The elder brother cannot be found. The Master is bursting to tell him the good news, but he has vanished. See that big house dancing with excitement, and now – see big brother sulking behind a sheep shed. He heard it first from a servant and darkness fell upon his soul.
What a study in contrast. The joy of the father is matched by the pettiness and self-pity of the eldest son. He is forfeiting a chance to be even greater in his father’s eyes. He is losing the opportunity to be truly noble. This could be his greatest moment, but anger is making it his worst.
The elder son reminds us that of all this world’s wretchedness, selfishness is the greatest misery of all.