And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold…
Who is there of us that is not aware that his soul has had two educations? Sometimes the two have been in opposition; sometimes they have overlapped; sometimes they have wholly coincided; but always the two have been two. Our own government of ourselves is most evident, is the one which we are most aware of, so that sometimes for a few moments we forget that there is any other; but very soon our plans for ourselves are so turned and altered and hindered that we cannot ignore the other greater, deeper force. We meant to do that, and look! we have been led on to this. We meant to be this, and lo! we are that. We never meant to believe this, and lo! we hold it with all our hearts. What does it mean? It is the everlasting discovery, the discovery which each thoughtful man makes for himself with almost as much surprise as if no other man had ever made it for himself before, that this soul, for which he is responsible, is not his soul only, but it is God's soul too. The rex-e-lation which came of old to the Virgin Mother about her Child — not your Child only, but God's Child, too; yours, genuinely, really yours, but, behind yours and over yours, God's. That is the great revelation about life. When it comes, everything about one's self-culture is altered. Every anticipation and thought of living changes its colour. It comes sometimes early and sometimes late in life. Sometimes it is the flush and glow which fills childhood with dewy hope and beauty. Sometimes it is the peace which gathers about old age and makes it happy. When. ever it comes it makes life new. See what the changes are which it must bring. First, it makes anything like a bewildering surprise impossible. When I have once taken it into my account that God has His plans for my soul's culture, that these plans of His outgo and supersede any plans for it which I can make, then any new turn that comes is explicable to me, and, though I may not have anticipated it all, I am not overwhelmed, nor disturbed, nor dismayed by it. I find a new conviction growing in my soul, another view of life, another kind of faith. It is not what I had intended. I had determined that as long as I lived I would believe something very different from this which I now feel rising and taking possession of me. It seems at first as if my soul had been disloyal to me, and had turned its back faithlessly upon my teaching. I appeal to it, and say, "Soul, why hast thou thus dealt with me?" And it answers back to me, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? Did you not know that I was God's soul as well as your soul? This is something which He has taught me." Then again, the true man will have one great purpose in living, and only one. He will try to come to harmony with God, to perfect understanding of what God wants and is trying to do. Let me not be trying to make one thing out of this soul of mine while He is trying to make entirely another! As Mary went back with her Son, realizing, out of His own mouth, that He was not only her Son, but God's; as she settled down with Him to their Nazareth life again, must not one single strong question have been upon her heart, "What does God want this Son of His to be? O let me find that out, that I may work with Him." And as you go into the house where you are to train your soul, realizing, through some revelation that has come to it, that it is God's soul as well as yours, one strong and single question must be pressing on you too — "What does God want this soul of mine to be? O, let me find that out, that I may work with Him." And how can you find that out? Only by finding Him out. Only by understanding what He is, can you understand what He wants you to do. And understanding comes by love. And love to God comes by faith in Jesus Christ.
(Phillips Brooks, D. D. .)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.