The parables that Jesus taught in Luke 15 continue to parallel the Biblical drama of history: creation, fall, and now God acts within history to redeem the creation back to Himself. In the parables the shepherd goes to search for the one lost sheep, the woman sweeps the house looking for the lost coin and the father sees his son a "long way off". You get the idea that the father had on many occasions scanned the horizon hoping to see his son return.
In the Bible, God calls a man named Abraham in Genesis and says to him that "all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you".And from that point forward this family is the primary focus of the Biblical narrative both the good and the bad. God is setting about to redeem back to Himself the humanity that He loves even working through the broken images of Himself to accomplish this goal. He gives to Israel a Law in order to set them apart from all other nations to retain a true knowledge of God among them. And the history of Israel is filled with redemptive scenes that begin to anticipate the great redemption that will come in the Messiah. God is taking the role of the shepherd seeking his lost sheep, the woman sweeping, looking everywhere for the lost coin and the father who is scanning the horizon hoping to see a returning son.