Is the parable in Luke 15:11-32 primarily about a son or a family? This article chooses to approach the parable from the perspective of the father and not the son. It calls attention to the generous actions of the father in the parable. This parable is then placed against the background of the larger understanding of the excessive goodness of God, as expressed in the Gospel.
This article shows how Luke 15:11-31 is actually the parable of the three sons. It does this by way of the immediate context as well as the redemptive-historical context.
There is a continued disagreement over the interpretation of the parable of the lost son in Luke 15:11-32. In particular, there is disagreement as to whether the first section deals with the theme of repentance or not. Another point of disagreement is whether in the second part the elder son serves as a referent for the Jewish religious leaders. Forbes wants to analyze the story, keeping these two issues in mind.