This story is one of the best and wisest stories in the Bible. Because, it is about our relationship with God. We stray from the Father, yet he is always there, waiting for us to return. To make the choice to return and leave behind our sinful life, our carnal life. As we approach him, we shed that old life and become made new in Christ Jesus. We cannot bring that carnal life into our new walk with the Lord.
The prodigal son does not bring with him his entourage of men and women... those that he 'hung out' with in the old days, those that he was sinfully engaged with. As we enter our new life, our walk with Christ Jesus, we do not and in fact cannot bring with us the past because it is leaving us, we are shedding it as we walk away from it as we become dead to sin and alive in Christ.
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6