As you are aware, from reading it in Luke chapter 15, it's about the love of a father who knows his child loves him even when the child is headstrong and doing foolish things, and he in turn loves his child.
In the Bible it was being told when bunch of people were upset that hoodlums and common criminals were being allowed to gather in the same place as them and hear someone (Jesus) talk. The law abiders felt that only they should be allowed to hear this great man. (Think of it as a fund raiser dinner for a politician, all the wealthy and fabs come in but they get riled up when they see a homeless person on the corner or near the doorway of the banquet hall).
So Jesus explained that all are equally worthy and loved. He talked about missing sheep and how 1 is as important as the other 99 (which is where the occupy wall street people got the 99% idea, although in reverse order).
The Pharisees weren't about to accept this, so Jesus told them about having 10 coins, losing 1 and searching for it because, yea, verily he said unto they, it too is important. All are important.
Still these la-di-das weren't having it, so Jesus told them about the son. How the son took his inheritance left home spent all the money foolishly and then did odd jobs. He finally returned and planned to beg forgiveness for his foolish ways. His father saw him and hopped into his Hoverround (although it may have been a Rascal scooter) and headed down the road to meet his returning son.
He celebrated the return of the son because he'd thought and believed him gone and that rightly hurt him. Now the lad was back, so they had a great feast, he dressed his son nicely with colorful robes and jewels.
The other son didn't understand all of this and was madder than the dickens. He was seeing red! His father explained how valued both his children were.
Since it's a parable, it may have to do with Jesus explaining how all people are loved equally by God and when one strays a bit, God still loves them and awaits their return.
It is essentially a tale about forgiveness. All are of equal value and of equal importance and all will be forgiven if forgiveness is asked for.