How is it - “Why” have ye sought me with so much anxiety? “Mary” should have known that the Son of God was safe; that his heavenly Father would take care of him, and that he could do nothing amiss.
Wist ye not - “Know ye not.” You had reason to know. You knew my design in coming into the world, and that design was “superior” to the duty of obeying earthly parents, and they should be willing always to give me up to the proper business for which I live.
My Father‘s business - Some think that this should be translated “in my Father‘s house” - that is, in the temple. Jesus reminded them here that he came down from heaven; that he had a higher Father than an earthly parent; and that, even in early life, it was proper that he should be engaged in the work for which he came. He did not enter, indeed, upon his public work for eighteen years after this; yet still the work of God was “his” work, and always, even in childhood, it was proper for him to be engaged in the great business for which he came down from heaven.
How is it that ye sought me? - Is not this intended as a gentle reproof? Why had ye me to seek? Ye should not have left my company, when ye knew I am constantly employed in performing the will of the Most High.
My Father's business? - Εν τοις του πατρος μου, My Father's concerns. Some think that these words should be translated, In my Father's house; which was a reason that they should have sought him in the temple only. As if he had said, Where should a child be found, but in his father's house? This translation is defended by Grotius, Pearce, and others; and is the reading of the Syriac, later Persic, and Armenian versions. Our Lord took this opportunity to instruct Joseph and Mary concerning his Divine nature and mission. My Father's concerns. This saying, one would think, could not have been easily misunderstood. It shows at once that he came down from heaven. Joseph had no concerns in the temple; and yet we find they did not fully comprehend it. How slow of heart is man to credit any thing that comes from God!
Jesus was our example in all things, and He was an earnest and constant worker. He commenced His life of usefulness in childhood. At the age of twelve He was “about his Father's business.” Between the ages of twelve and thirty, before entering upon His public ministry, He led a life of active industry. In His ministry Jesus was never idle. Said He, “I must work the works of him that sent me....” The suffering who came to Him were not turned away unrelieved. He was acquainted with each heart and knew how to minister to its needs. Loving words fell from His lips to comfort, encourage, and bless, and the great principles of the kingdom of heaven were set before the multitudes in words so simple as to be understood by all. TMK 155.3Read in context »
God stands toward His people in the relation of a father, and He has a father's claim to our faithful service. Consider the life of Christ. Standing at the head of humanity, serving His Father, He is an example of what every son should and may be. The obedience that Christ rendered, God requires from human beings today. He served His Father in love, with willingness and freedom. “I delight to do thy will, O my God,” He declared: “yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). Christ counted no sacrifice too great, no toil too hard, in order to accomplish the work which He came to do. At the age of twelve He said, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” (Luke 2:49). He had heard the call, and had taken up the work. “My meat,” He said, “is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). HP 128.2Read in context »
This chapter is based on Luke 2:41-51.
Among the Jews the twelfth year was the dividing line between childhood and youth. On completing this year a Hebrew boy was called a son of the law, and also a son of God. He was given special opportunities for religious instruction, and was expected to participate in the sacred feasts and observances. It was in accordance with this custom that Jesus in His boyhood made the Passover visit to Jerusalem. Like all devout Israelites, Joseph and Mary went up every year to attend the Passover; and when Jesus had reached the required age, they took Him with them. DA 75.1Read in context »