“But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends’” (Luke 15:29).
The saga of the prodigal and the redeeming grace of the father is soon clouded by the self-righteousness of the elder son. Such self-righteous creatures have a joyless existence; preoccupied with their own religious asceticism. They can never bring themselves to celebrate what grace is accomplishing in others and, perhaps, secretly harbor a resentment of grace. His is the least compelling of arguments; that he honors God by refusing to fellowship with his once godless brother.